Contractor climbing a ladder at worksite

No Laughing Ladder: Ladder Safety (Part 1)

DF Safety Workplace Safety

There is no question that ladders are a useful tool, and one that is frequently used both at work and at home. However, many people don’t realize the risks involved when using one, and how important it is to ensure you are following proper precautions. Not only that, with a variety to choose from, and different materials used to make them, the key to safety is to ensure you choose the best fit for the job.

Today, we would like to discuss the different types of ladders and the materials in which they are made.

Types of Ladders

There are several different ladders to choose from. The first thing to decide is which ladder will best suit the needs of your project. Let’s chat about the four most common types of ladders:

Step ladder

A portable ladder that doesn’t adjust in length, a step ladder has flat steps and the ability to fold up for easy storage. Typically used in the home for reaching items out of reach, it is meant to be used by one person and can range in size.

Platform ladder

This is also a portable ladder that doesn’t adjust in height, a platform ladder includes a platform, which is at the highest standing level.

Extension ladder

An adjustable ladder, these usually have two sections which allow for different heights. Since they are not self supporting, it is imperative that they have a stable structure that can support the intended weight.

A frame ladder

Like its names suggests, an A frame ladder looks like the letter “A” from the side. It has two legs which are angled, and come together at the top. Usually, there is some type of support between the legs that locks, which provides more stabilization.

The key to ladder safety is to ensure you choose the best fit for the job.

Ladder Materials

As we mentioned earlier, the material in which the ladder is made of is also important to consider, depending on the job you are doing.

Wooden ladders

Since wood is heavy, these ladders are typically sturdy, and don’t conduct an electric current. They also tend to last a long-time as they are durable. However, they can rot if left out in the elements, so it’s best to store them inside.

Aluminum ladders

These have several advantages as they are lightweight and durable. They are much lighter than wooden ladders, which makes them easier to move. They also tend to last a long time as they are resistant to oxidization. However, since aluminum is conductive, depending on the task, you may want to consider another option.

Fibreglass ladders

These are strong ladders and are also resistant to heat and electricity. They won’t rot in the elements and are less likely to fall victim to heat. Since they are heavy, they are also a sturdy option, but its weight can also make it more challenging to move around. A more expensive option, these types of ladders are often more common in businesses than in homes.

Now that you have a better understanding of the types of ladders, and what they are made of, stay tuned for next week’s blog where we will talk about how to inspect and safely use a ladder.