Titan Ladders – Safe Use and Care

How to look after your Ladder

Ladder Safety and Care

General Principles

Ladders must be handled with care at all times.

Observe the manufacturers warnings and instructions.

Observe closely the area in which you wish to position the ladder and assess for risks (e.g. open door ways, overhead power lines, uneven ground).

Where a risk is present, remove (or reduced to an acceptable level) the risk, or seek an alternative safe means of access.

Ladders are designed and built for a specific use. Read the warning labels and never use the ladder in a way not recommended by the manufacturer.

Choose the right type of ladder and the correct height for the task at hand.

Always inspect the ladder for damage prior to use.

NEVER USE A LADDER THAT HAS BEEN DAMAGED OR HAS MISSING PARTS.

Ensure the ladder is free from dirt, water and grease prior to use paying particular attention to the treads/rungs.

When using a ladder near a door way, block/lock the door and/or post a guard.

Do not leave ladders unattended while they are erected in case of children climbing.

Always wear fully enclosed footwear with slip resistance soles.

Avoid using ladders in very wet or wind conditions.

Never use a ladder if you are impaired by drugs, alcohol or sickness.

Safe Handling Practices

Never drop or jar a ladder as it may damage the ladder and make it unsafe to use.

Always employ safe lifting practices when moving or handling ladders (e.g. bend the knees).

Always be aware of others and property when carrying ladders. Particular care should be taken when carrying a ladder through or door way or around corners.

Always ensure that you have full control of the ladder at all times.

Be aware of the position of your hands when using ladders to avoid entrapment.

Transporation of Ladders

When transporting a ladder on a vehicle ensure that the following points are observed:

The ladder is supported along its length to prevent sagging.

The overhang beyond supports is equal and less then 1/3 of the length of the ladder.

The ladder is securely tied down to prevent road shock and chaffing. Do not over tighten as this may damage the ladder.

The upper surface of the roof racks or supports should be covered with soft material, such as rubber or pine, to decrease road shock.

Step Ladder Safe Use

Always ensure that the ladder is placed on a firm level surface.

Check that each foot is in contact with the surface.

Ensure that spreaders are fully extended prior to use.

Do not use a ladder if the spreader is missing, loose or damaged.

Regularly check ladder feet for excessive wear.

When ascending or descending a ladder you must be facing the ladder and have three limbs in contact with the ladder at all times.

Never stand or sit on the top cap. They are not designed to be used as a tread/seat.

Never stand on the tread immediately below the top cap as you may lose your balance.

Do not over reach when using a ladder - ensure your body is centred within the ladder stiles. Keep your belt buckle inside the foot area.

Always descend the ladder prior to moving the ladder - do not attempt to make the ladder walk.

Before moving a ladder take care to ensure that all tools and other items have been removed.

Do not use a closed stepladder as a non-self supporting ladder (e.g. leaning against a wall).

Do not climb from one ladder to another.

Do not use ladders as trestles as they are not designed for this type of use.

Never use a metal stepladder where an electrical hazard exists.

Do not exceed the load rating of the ladder.

Do not use a ‘Domestic’ duty rated ladder for frequent heavy use, or in a workplace, an ‘Industrial’ duty rated ladder must be used.

Carry tools and materials in a tool belt or have them passed to you.

Extension Ladder Safe Use

Ensure that the ladder is on firm level surface and both feet are in contact with the ground.

Check that stiles/rungs/clutch/pulley/rope/guides and feet are in sound condition prior to use. NEVER USE THE LADDER IF ANY OF THESE PARTS ARE MISSING OR DAMAGED.

Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.

Ensure that three limbs are in contact with the ladder at all times.

Always position the ladder at the correct angle. For every four metres of supported ladder length the base of the ladder should be one metre from the bottom of the vertical wall. Care should be taken when estimating the  distance from the vertical if the structure is not 90 degrees from the ground (e.g. sloping ground or sloping wall).

The ladder must be extended one metre, or three rungs, past the top of the structure.

The ladder should be secured against slipping at both the top and the base of the ladder. Lashing the top of the ladder to the wall is adequate. When the ladder cannot be secured at the base an assistant should secure the base of the ladder from slipping.

Ensure that the surface the ladder is resting against is flat and is in sound condition.

Pole straps must be used against structures such as trees and poles.

Never use a metal ladder or a timber ladder with metal stile reinforcing where an electrical hazard exists.

Do not climb from one ladder to another.

Do not use an extension ladder in a horizontal position. (e.g. as a bridging structure).

Do not exceed the load rating of the ladder.

Do not use a ‘Domestic’ duty rated ladder for frequent heavy use, or in a workplace, an ‘Industrial’ duty rated ladder must be used.

Ensure the clutch is ‘fully engaged’ before climbing.

Dual Purpose Ladder Safe Use

When used as a stepladder ensure that all aspects of ‘safe use and care’ of stepladders are observed.

When used as a straight ladder ensure that all aspects of safe use and care of extension ladders are observed.

Special care should be taken to ensure all locking devices are in the appropriate position according to the mode of use.

When transporting dual purpose ladders, they must be secured and transported in the stepladder mode.

Always ensure that the ladder is placed on a firm level surface. Check that each foot is in contact with the surface.

Regularly check ladder feet for excessive wear.

When ascending or descending a ladder you must be facing the ladder and have three limbs in contact with the ladder at all times.

Never stand or sit on the top cap. They are not designed to be used as a tread/seat.

Never over reach when using a ladder - ensure your body is centred within the ladder stiles. Keep your belt buckle inside the foot area.

Always descend the ladder prior to moving the ladder - do not attempt to make the ladder walk.

Before moving a ladder take care to ensure that all tools and other items have been removed from the ladder.

Do not use a closed stepladder as a non-self supporting ladder (e.g. leaning against a wall).

Do not climb from one ladder to another.

Do not use ladders as trestles, they are not designed for this.

Never use a metal step ladder where an electrical hazard exists.

Platform Step Ladders

Always ensure that the ladder is placed on a firm level surface.

Check that each foot is in contact with the surface.

Ensure that spreaders are fully extended prior to use.

Do not use a ladder if the spreader is missing, loose or damaged.

Regularly check ladder feet for excessive wear.

When ascending or descending a ladder you must be facing the ladder    and have three limbs in contact with the ladder at all times.

Never stand or sit on the top cap. They are not designed to be used as a tread/seat.

Do not over reach when using a ladder - ensure your body is centred within the ladder stiles.

Always descend the ladder prior to moving the ladder - do not attempt to make the ladder walk.

Before moving a ladder take care to ensure that all tools and other items have been removed.

Do not use a closed stepladder as a non-self supporting ladder (e.g. leaning against a wall).

Do not climb from one ladder to another.

Do not use ladders as trestles as they are not designed for this type of use

Never use a metal step ladder where an electrical hazard exists.

Ladder Inspection

Prior to each use check ladders for damage or missing components.

Check for loose or missing bolts or rivets.

Check ladder feet for excessive wear.

Check ropes are not fraying and are securely attached.

Check that ladder stiles/rungs/treads are straight.

Check spreaders are in good order.

Check that the ladder is free from dust, water, grease and corrosion.

Clean a ladder with mild soapy water and ensure it is dry prior to use.

Check timber ladder for splits, rot, and insect infestation.

If a ladder does have any defects take it out of service immediately. Either send it to a ladder repairer or destroy the ladder so it can not be used and replace it.

If the ladder has sustained a blow or impact carefully check the ladder for defects prior to next use.

Fibreglass ladders will over time degrade and fibres may become exposed. Wash the ladder with a commercial solvent and apply enough coats of polyurethane or clear acrylic lacquer to encapsulate the fibres.

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) legislation was created to ensure the safety of employees at work. The OH&S rules relating to working at heights vary from state to state but essentially they require employers and employees implement controls measures to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury or death when working at heights.

Before commencing any work from heights you must assess the risk of a fall. If there is a risk of a fall you must perform the task from the ground. If this is not possible then you must implement controls that minimize the risk of injury if a fall was to occur e.g. erect edge protection, wear a harness and a lanyard etc. Any work at heights that involves a portable ladder then the ladder must have an industrial duty rating and a minimum load rating of 120kg.

What is the difference between a ‘Domestic’ and an ‘Industrial’ ladder?

An ‘Industrial’ ladder must have a minimum load rating of 120kg and be labeled that it is suitable for Industrial use. Under the Australian and New Zealand Standards for ladders (AS/NZS1892.1) ladders rated as suitable for industrial use must pass tougher tests than ladders rated for domestic use.

A ‘Domestic’ ladder must have a minimum load rating of 100kg and be labeled that it is suitable for Domestic use.  A ladder with a Domestic Duty rating cannot be used in a workplace.

Working at Heights and the Hierarchy of Control

Before any work at heights begins you must implement a risk assessment that;

  • Identifies fall hazards
  • Assess the risk of falls occurring
  • Implement risk control measures

Risk control measures for the prevention of falls from heights includes

  • Eliminate the risk of a fall (e.g work from the ground)
  • Use passive fall prevention devices (e.g scaffolding, guard rails, temporary work platforms etc)
  • Use a work positing system (e.g a static line)
  • Use fall arrest systems (e.g harness and lanyard)
  • Use administrative system for ladders (e.g safe use of ladders work procedures and training)

Australian Standards

The Australian and New Zealand standards for ladders in the AS/NZS1892 series of standards was developed by an independent committee made up of representatives of the industry, consumer associations, government, scientific or academic institutions. The standards were developed to improve the quality and safety of the ladders sold in the Australian market. There are four standards;

AS/NZS1892.1 Metal ladders

AS/NZS1892.2 Timber ladders

AS/NZS1892.3 Reinforced fibre ladders

AS/NZS1892.5 safe use and care of ladders

Copies of these standards are available for purchase through SAI GLOBAL https://infostore.saiglobal.com/

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