Type- There are two types of ladders: fixed and portable. Fixed ladders are in place on buildings; portable ladders are movable. If you require a portable ladder, assess whether you need a self-supporting ladder, like an “A” frame, or a straight or extension ladder.
Length- To determine the maximum working height on a portable ladder, check its duty rating sticker for the highest standing level and add 5 feet.
Duty Rating- Check the duty rating sticker to be sure the ladder can
support you and your tools. Construction jobs should use a Type 1, 1A, or 1AA, which hold up to 250, 300, and 375 pounds, respectively.
Material- Be sure your ladder is made of a safe material for the environment you’re working in. Use a fiberglass ladder if there’s a chance of contact with electricity. When using a wooden ladder, be sure it’s treated but not painted.
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Ladder Inspection Checklist
- Check for cracks, bends, splits, or corrosion.
- Check all rungs and step connections.
- Make sure the ladder’s feet work properly and have slip-resistant pads.
- Make sure rung locks and spreader braces are working.
- Be sure all bolts and rivets are secure.
- Make sure steps, rungs, and other ladder parts are free of oil, grease and other materials.
- On extension ladders, make sure the rope and pulley work and the rope is not frayed or tangled.