Get the lowdown on how to keep your ladder in tip top condition
Posted on 28th Apr, 2022 | By Liam Roberts
Ladder maintenance is something that can easily slip under the radar in a busy work environment, especially if you’re in senior management. With everything else you’re balancing on a day-to-day basis, it can be a challenge to keep on top of the status of every ladder in your business and make sure they’re all fit for use. However, it’s important to keep in mind that failing to do so can pose serious risks to your employees.
There are a few measures that you can take to ensure that your ladders stay in tip top condition. A few of these include being mindful of how you handle them, how you store them, and they way in which you transport them. And of course, it’s always beneficial to get a specialist in to inspect your ladders, just to give you peace of mind that they’re up to current safety requirements.
That’s exactly where we can help here at Browns Ladders. Our Certified Ladder Inspections cover all of your access equipment located on your premises, from general ladders and step ladders to machine stairways, scaffold towers and work platforms.
With all that in mind, here’s our advice on the things you can do to keep your ladders in top working condition.
Handle with care
Handling is a key aspect in ensuring your ladders remain fit for work. For starters, we’d advise making sure your ladders are clean and free of oil, mud, grease or any other substance that may make the steps or rungs slippery. These sorts of stains make your ladder difficult to handle and prevent you from getting a good grip on it, which can then potentially lead to you dropping and damaging it. This is important to avoid because ladders that receive a heavy blow may suffer from loosened steps or rungs, and deformed stiles, which can add to the likelihood that you suffer a substantial fall while using it.
As well as handling, proper storage also plays a big part in maintaining the efficacy of your ladders. When not in use – we advise that you store your ladders off the ground, horizontally, on racks. This is to ensure maximum safety and security. If you store your ladders vertically, they could fall off the support system and cause harm to anybody walking by.
Ladders need to be stored in cool, dry locations, but this is especially true of wooden ladders. These need to be kept away from areas where they can be directly exposed to heat or dampness, as wood is especially susceptible to the changing elements if it’s not been properly treated. Consequently, the heat can warp the ladder, therefor making it unsafe for use.
Similarly, fibreglass ladders should also be kept in areas where they can’t be exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet light sources, as this can cause the material to break down, reducing its reliability when you come to use it.
As well as the points we’ve mentioned above, the way in which you transport your ladders can also have an affect on their overall structural integrity. Before you head out anywhere, make sure your ladder is folded up and any locking mechanisms are properly engaged. This is to ensure that your ladder is secure. Otherwise, your ladder could potentially slip off your roof rack and cause significant harm to other road users.
To further minimise the risk, you can also maximise the security of your ladder with a quality set of ladder clamps, which we supply at Browns Ladders. They’re specifically designed for securing your ladder properly to a vehicle roof rack so that they’re not shifting dangerously when the vehicle is in motion.
As a side note – never forget that aside from keeping other road users safe, one of the main objectives of safely transporting your ladder should always be to protect it from any potential damage. If its integrity is affected in any way, you could be putting yourself in danger each time you use it.
You can find more details on the rules and regulations of transporting your ladder in our article – make sure you’re transporting your ladder safely!
These are all great steps that your can take to ensure that you ladders stay in tip top condition. However we know that as a business owner, it can be difficult to keep track of the integrity of all your ladders, that’s why we offer Certified Ladder inspections here at Browns Safety Services.
Let us take away the hassle for you and carry out our on-site access equipment surveys, just like we already do for many nationwide brands, such as Walkers Snack Foods, Warburtons Bakeries, and Silentnight Beds just to name a few! We can carry out inspections on up to 50 items in one day, so if you’re looking to get started, give our team a call on 01282 507043, and we’ll get you sorted!