07 Feb Top 9 Safety Tips for Using Roof Access Ladders
Every year, thousands of workers and homeowners fall from ladders and risk serious injury. In some cases, the fall results in brain damage or death.
Ladder safety is often neglected or forgotten due to complacency and familiarity. While it is true that your experience will help your balance on a ladder, you must remember that accidents happen and can change your life in seconds.
Here are nine practical safety tips for using roof access ladders. They should be applied in personal and professional settings.
1. One person at a time.
Don’t double the risk! Only one person should use a ladder at any one time. If a situation arises where two people are required to reach an access point, you may need a more complex height safety setup- a ladder may not be the best tool for the job!
2. Three points of contact.
A well-known and non-negotiable rule of ladder safety is maintaining three points of contact at all times. Whether this means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand, sticking to the contact rule points will help keep you safe.
3. Don’t stand on top of the ladder.
Standing on the very top of your ladder is incredibly risky. It is recommended to remain at least 900mm from the top of the ladder and to not stand on the ladder’s top three rungs.
4. Don’t lean or reach away from the ladder.
Accidents often occur when reaching for something away from the ladder. This action can disrupt your centre of balance and cause a fall.
5. Secure the ladder.
If using an extension ladder, you must secure the ladder. To do this, have someone hold the bottom of the ladder while you climb to the top and tie with rope.
6. 4:1 rule.
The 4:1 ratio rule dictates that you should move the ladder one metre away from the base of the structure for every four metres of height.
7. Assess the surrounding hazards.
Before completing any construction or maintenance task, you should assess your surroundings for potential hazards. For example, are there powerlines or doorways near the ladder and is the ladder on a secure base that can’t slip?
8. Choose the right ladder for the job.
Is your ladder right for the job? Does it meet Australian safety standards and have no damage? If not, it may be time to upgrade!
9. Working load limit.
The working load limit details how much weight can be on the ladder at any one time. This includes the user and anything they carry. Never exceed this number.
Need help with height safety equipment on your worksite? Contact us at Australian Height Safety Services for personalised assistance. You can reach our friendly team on 1300 854 217 or leave us a message.