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Ladders, are used in many of our jobs. They're used during the building of homes, when we do roofing, to get to and from the next level or scaffold, etc. Painters use ladders of all sizes. Sheet rock installers use them, also electricians, plumbers, grazers, masons, iron workers, and at one time or another, just about every construction trade on the job. Typically there are four types of ladders -- the straight ladder, the fixed ladder, the extension and stepladders.
Ladders are safe only when used correctly. Before starting any job that requires the use of a ladder make sure you select the right length. Ladders that are too short or too long can cause an accident. Some of the causes of ladder accidents include failure to inspect a ladder prior to use -- check for broken rungs make sure the side rails aren't damaged -- and look for any other obvious defect. Once you have determined the ladder is safe, set it up -- be sure that the ladder extends three feet above the landing. and then tie it off to prevent it from tipping over. Check for any overhead power lines in the area -- you don't want to become an electrical conductor. Remember the 1 to 4 rule -- the base of the ladder should be one foot away from the vertical support for every four feet in height. If you're in a traffic area, barricade the base area of the ladder. Also be sure the base of the ladder is on a level footing never on brick or concrete blocks -- uneven surfaces can lead to a fall.
When climbing a ladder always use both hands, face forward and have a good grip. Don't try to one hand it or climb facing away, and take only one step at a time. Always hoist tools with hand line. A few additional safety tips: never reach too far, keep your belt buckle between the rails -- never stand on the top two rungs or steps -- keep ladders free from slippery materials -- and remove defective ladders from service immediately.
If you follow these guidelines, your ladder work should be a safe operation. Don't let ladders make you fall down on the job.
REPLACE WORN OR DAMAGED ROPES. LUBRICATE PULLEYS AND LADDER LOCKS, AND ONLY ONE PERSON ON A LADDER AT A TIME.
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