Using Ladders Safely: Wet Weather
Posted on 23rd Jan, 2014 | By Lorretta Tatham
Educating yourself on ladder safety during wet weather conditions can keep you out of harm’s way or even save your life whether you’re cleaning your gutters or replacing a missing roof tile.
Follow these simple steps to ladder safety:
- Use the right ladder for the job! Always choose a ladder long enough so that it does not require you to overreach in a way that de-stabilises the ladder.
- Check your ladder! Ensure your ladder feet aren’t excessively worn, damaged or even missing. You must be able to rest the feet of your ladder on a flat surface without it wobbling at all. During wet weather conditions grip is compromised therefore unsafe ladders have more potential for slipping.
- Stabilise your ladder! If in doubt, use an effective ladder stability device. The LadderMate ladder stabiliser can be easily attached (it takes less than five seconds to fit) to the base of any ladder and prevent your ladder from sliding/slipping down a wall. Not only does the LadderMate prevent you from sliding/slipping it also stops you from using your ladder at the wrong angle.
- Wear appropriate clothing! Don’t work without wearing high visibility clothing, a waterproof jacket and gloves – keeping warm and dry can help keep you safe. Most ladder rungs are serrated to prevent slips – to be extra cautious wear sturdy shoes or boots with a good sole on them.
- Don’t work for longer than 20–30 minutes on a ladder, if the task is to takes longer than the recommended time then take rest breaks on the ground equal to time spent on the ladder.
- Never be tempted to overreach when using a ladder, this will de-stabilise the ladder and increase the chances of falling. To avoid this, change the position when needed.
- If you begin climbing the ladder and have doubts, back up and reconsider. It’s likely that you are not confident enough to work at height.
- The three points of contact rule was invented to reduce the chances of you falling from a ladder. It’s a very simple, time-tested method and essentially instructs you to keep at least three of your four limbs in contact with a ladder at all times– two hands and one foot, two feet and one hand or this can include your body if the task requires you to use both hands.
- As it’s important to maintain three points of contact on your ladder consider using accessories that will help you to achieve this such as a ladder stand off or bucket hook.
- Never climb a ladder during strong winds, heavy rain and when there is risk of lightening.
Why not have your say and share some of your wet weather ladder safety advice below, or tweet us: @brownsladders.