Toolbox Talk – do’s & don’ts of ladder storage & handling. A ladder should always be stored horizontally for maximum security & safety when not in use. If stored vertically, the ladder could fall off the support system & cause damage or harm. Be sure to use more ladder storage hooks, ropes, or other tools if you have a longer ladder. Improper storage may cause your ladder to deteriorate and become unsafe to use – or it could end up being stolen.
What is the proper way to store ladders?
- Return ladders to the storage area after use.
- Store ladders where they are protected from the weather.
- Store ladders where people or machinery will not come in contact with it unintentionally.
- Keep ladders clean & free of foreign materials.
- Ensure that storage areas are easy to reach.
- Keep wooden ladders in a well-ventilated location, away from dampness & excessive heat.
- Avoid long overhangs beyond support points when transporting ladders on vehicles.
- Grasp ladders near the centre when carrying them.
- Use caution when carrying ladders through passageways, doorways or any place where your view is obstructed.
- Use a partner to help carry long or heavy ladders.
- Make sure that you and your partner are on the same side when carrying a ladder. Stay in step. Work out in advance any hand or voice signals to coordinate stopping or changing direction.
- Always tag and remove from service a defective ladder for repair by a person authorized by the manufacturer, or replace it.
- Unsafe ladders are to be locked out and tagged as “UNSAFE FOR USE”
What should you avoid when storing ladders?
- Do not hang ladders from rails or rungs.
- Do not store materials on ladders.
- Do not store ladders in a way that they might fall on a person, cause a trip or otherwise cause an injury.
- Do not expose fibreglass ladders to excessive temperatures (above 93°C or 200°F).
- Do not use a ladder that is unstable.
- Do not hold the front of ladders at head level when carrying them.
- Do not use a ladder which has been exposed to heat or fire. Inspect visually, and check for its strength characteristics.
- Do not expose plastic-reinforced ladders to excessive sunlight. Ultraviolet light may cause the plastic resins to degrade. If the strength of the ladder is questionable, replace the ladder.
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