10 Tips for Ladder Safety

Whether you’re putting up holiday lights, need to get into overhead storage space or have to hang a sign, everyone finds the need to use a ladder from time to time at work or at home. While the process of using a ladder is fairly straightforward, serious injury and even death can occur when certain safety tips aren’t followed.

With that in mind, here are 10 ladder safety tips in Seattle to take into account as you’re working:

  • Read instructions: Ladders do not necessarily come with an instruction manual, but there are usually labels and warnings on the ladder itself telling you what to do—and what not to do. Make sure you read them all before using your ladder.
  • Look out for electrical hazards: Before positioning and climbing up your ladder, look around overhead to make sure you won’t be interfering with any power lines. Never use a metal ladder near power lines or other electrical equipment.
  • Inspect your ladder: Whether you use your ladder a couple times a year or a couple times a week, you should always give it a look-over before using it, just to make sure it’s still in good shape. Better safe than sorry!
  • Three-point contact: For proper ladder safety, you should always have three-point contact with the ladder. This means having at least two feet and one hand (or one foot and two hands) on the ladder at all times.
  • No slippery substances: Obviously, slippery materials and ladders do not go hand in hand. Before using your ladder, make sure there’s nothing wet, sticky or otherwise slippery or hazardous on any of the ladder rungs.
  • Avoid the top rung: Most ladders were not designed for the top rung to be used. Unless you know for sure that your ladder is an exception to that rule, you should always avoid stepping on your top rung for proper ladder safety.
  • Find stability: You should always use a normal ladder on a flat, stable surface. Some ladders are designed so they can be secured so that displacement does not occur—if you have this type of ladder, you should still have someone spot you on uneven surfaces.
  • Give a heads up: If you are working with other people, make sure they know when you are using the ladder, so that they do not unintentionally bump into the ladder or otherwise tamper with it.
  • Lock it up: Extension ladders come with locks for each rung. Make sure each one is properly locked before attempting to climb the ladder.
  • Buy a quality ladder: As we in the hardware business know, not every ladder is created equal. If you aren’t sure which type of ladder you ought to be using, be sure to consult a trusted professional before tackling your big project. A little extra preparation can go a long way!

Now that you know a little bit about ladder safety tips in Seattle, you might want to make sure you own the best possible ladder. Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. will be happy to supply you with the right ladder for the job. Come see us today!

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