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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default stepladder safety

    Anyone using a stepladder - either regularly or occassionally - should read an article that I came across recently, written by a national safety expert. In the article, he mentions the many mergency room visits each year and a how many are documented that are simply a result of not using the step ladder correctly! Many others are the result of leaning and stretching for items out of reach and thus the ladder tipping. Tangled and loose wires or extension cords are also a common reason for ladder-related injury. I found the article by googling Les Wise Safety Expert. In the article he also has suggestions to lower the chance for injury in the home or workplace and has reviewed and tested various safety products. He recommends a product (which I bought and use) that is quite handy. It actually is designed specifically for electricains and painters, but is something everyone sho owns a stepladder should have. It is called The Laddermaxx Safety Caddy and I have not found it in stores. I found it at their store - www.laddermaxx.com It isn't expensive and I really can't imagine ever using a stepladder wihtout using it also. Another recommendation was an item called LadderLok, which is geared toward roofers. It looked good intersting too, but I personally had no immediate use for it. The laddermaxx thing is great though. Check it out - it definatley lets you take all your tools up with you and never stabalizes the ladder too. It saved me plenty of trips up and down and comes with an attachment to keep multiple spools of wire seperated and untangled. Very cool idea. Don't forget the two xx's in laddermaxx or you'll find a totally different product. Hope this helps someone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: stepladder safety

    One principle or rule of thumb is to always keep your hips between the vertical rails of the ladder and always keep your feet firmly on the rung. Never poke a foot out for balance; if you need to, you're reaching out too far.

    Before climbing an extension ladder, I put one foot on the bottom rung and pull the ladder away from the wall. If it moves to one side or the other, I reposition the ladder so it is stable and both rails meet the wall at the same time. I also always make sure the swivel feet are firmly set and not catching on the swivel bolt/oblong hole. The angle should be such that the top of the rung is level. Too steep and the ladder can fall backwards; too shallow and the bottom can slip out.

    Likewise for stepladders, make sure all four feet are firmly on the floor in a level rectangle pattern. If it's a t****zoid, the ladder is tweaked and could buckle and collapse. If you must lean a stepladder against the wall, make sure the steps are level. If the ladder is designed so that the weight of the ladder is on the rear legs when leaning against the wall, DO NOT use it for this purpose.

    If you're not supposed to stand on the top two steps of a stepladder, how in the world are you supposed to use a two-step stepladder???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    980

    Default Re: stepladder safety

    [quote=Fencepost;41262]One principle or rule of thumb is to always keep your hips between the vertical rails of the ladder and always keep your feet firmly on the rung. Never poke a foot out for balance; if you need to, you're reaching out too far.

    Before climbing an extension ladder, I put one foot on the bottom rung and pull the ladder away from the wall. If it moves to one side or the other, I reposition the ladder so it is stable and both rails meet the wall at the same time. I also always make sure the swivel feet are firmly set and not catching on the swivel bolt/oblong hole. The angle should be such that the top of the rung is level. Too steep and the ladder can fall backwards; too shallow and the bottom can slip out.

    Likewise for stepladders, make sure all four feet are firmly on the floor in a level rectangle pattern. If it's a t****zoid, the ladder is tweaked and could buckle and collapse. If you must lean a stepladder against the wall, make sure the steps are level. If the ladder is designed so that the weight of the ladder is on the rear legs when leaning against the wall, DO NOT use it for this purpose.

    If you're not supposed to stand on the top two steps of a stepladder, how in the world are you supposed to use a two-step stepladder???[/quote]
    osha allows you a 6 foot fall so unless they are reeeeeeal big steps your probally ok to use the top step on a two step ladder.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: stepladder safety

    I would like to follow up with my findings from OSHA's website.

    1926.1053(b)(13)
    The top or top step of a stepladder shall not be used as a step.

    1926.1050(b)
    "Step stool (ladder type)" means a self-supporting, foldable, portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, 32 inches or less in overall size, with flat steps and without a pail shelf, designed to be climbed on the ladder top cap as well as all steps. The side rails may continue above the top cap.

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