How to use a ladder safely over the winter months

The winter months are upon us but that doesn’t mean that outdoor jobs can’t be done. However, it is important that tradesmen take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

For people at home that are doing DIY, clearing the gutters, using the ladder for painting the house or putting up Christmas decorations, it is also important that when using a ladder for these activities that due care and precautions are taken. Here we will be looking at how to use ladders and step ups safely during the winter months to prevent injury and accidents.

Be sure to pick the correct ladder for your needs

To make sure you choose the correct ladder for the tasks you need to tackle is important regardless of the time of year. Make sure you take measurements of your work area to ensure you can reach the correct height. Similarly check that the width of the ladder will be suitable. The ladder needs to have a suitable loading capacity so that it can take your weight and the weight of any tools or items that you will be carrying with you while on the ladder. Our ladders at Go Direct Access are all certified to EN1003 and have loading capacities of 150kg.

Inspect your Ladder for any damage

A thorough inspection of the ladder is also important any time of year, but this is especially so during the winter months. You need to make sure the ladder and each rung or step of the ladder is free from slippery substances such as grease, oil, snow, ice or mud. If these substances have come into contact with the ladder, they are a huge safety risk and must be removed before the ladder is used.

Check your footwear

After checking the ladder is free from damage and slippery substances, it is important to make sure that your footwear are suitable to be wearing while using the ladder. Make sure that the soles of your boots or shoes had adequate grip and are sturdy. Also ensue that no slippery substances such as the above or general debris are on your soles before using the ladder.

Follow the supplied safety guidelines for using your ladder

Check the safety guide that has come with your ladder. Safety instructions are supplied with all of our ladders and it is important to familiarise yourself with these prior to using the ladder. Over the winter months there are a lot of extra care and checks that are needed to be done that it is important to not forget about the basics.

Ensure you are on level solid and sturdy ground

When putting up your ladder it is important to make sure that the ground that you are erecting it on is not slippery. At this time of year due to ice, snow and rain the ground is often not suitable to use a ladder on, and precautions make need to be taken. To maximise stability a safety mat should be used.

Check the weather forecast

Prior to beginning to use a ladder it is important to check the weather forecasted for duration that you expect to be using the ladder. Is the wind due to pick up? Is there an increased chance of rain due shortly? These are important pieces of information that will allow you to plan your schedule accordingly.

 

If you have any questions in relation to choosing the right ladder for you or in relation to safety measures we would love to hear from you in the comments or email us at sales@godirectaccess.ie