How to Pick the Right Ladder for the Job

Having the right tool for the job is the key to safety. The same is true when it comes to ladders. A lot of people don’t realize that there are lots of different types of ladders for different jobs, and choosing the wrong ladder can be very dangerous. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to ensure that you are using the right ladder for the job.

What type of project are you doing?

Ladders come in many different styles for different jobs. There are scaffolding, platform, twin-step, tripod and multi-ladders, just to name a few. You wouldn’t use the same ladder for painting an interior wall in your home as you would for trimming branches on a tree in your front yard. If you’re not sure what style of ladder you need, ask for help at your local home improvement or hardware store in Seattle, WA.

How high do you need to go?

Safety rules dictate that the highest permitted standing level on a ladder is two steps down from the top. In addition, a person’s maximum safe reaching height is approximately 4’ higher than the height of the ladder. For example, an average person can usually safely reach an 8’ ceiling on a 4’ ladder. When working on a roof, however, the ladder needs to extend at least three feet beyond the edge of the roof. While it may take some math, calculating the appropriate height for the ladder you need is essential to your safety.

How much weight will be on the ladder?

Ladders are designed to hold different maximum amounts of weight. To ensure that you are safe while working, you need to check the maximum weight capacity of the ladder you want to use. Keep in mind that you not only need to consider your body weight but also the weight of any equipment you will be using while on the ladder and the weight of your clothing, especially if you wear heavy duty clothes and working boots.

Where will you be working?

Ladders are made out of different materials for use in different places. For example, a ladder used on a construction site that will be used multiple times per day by multiple people should be made of a heavy duty material and up to the required safety codes, while a wooden ladder is perfectly acceptable for a project like house painting. The most important thing to keep in mind is to use a nonconductive ladder, such as fiberglass or wood, when working around electricity to avoid electrocution.

The right ladder can be a great tool for getting the job done, but be sure to choose carefully. Having the right ladder for the right job is essential to your safety and the safety of those around you. To shop different types of ladders or to learn more about the right ladder for your project, stop in to Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co., your local hardware store in Seattle, WA today. We’d love to help you find the perfect ladder for your job!

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