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3 Basics of Ladder Safety

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ladder accidents cause around 160,000 injuries and 300 deaths each year. If you sell ladders in your operation, share these ladder safety tips and product knowledge with your customers to position yourself as a helpful resource and keep your customers safe. 

Choose the right ladder. Share with customers what each type of ladder’s purpose is and how they can safely utilize that ladder for their projects. Aluminum ladders are waterproof and lightweight but should never be used near electricity; choose a wooden ladder or fiberglass option with a special coating in those instances. The Little Giant Xtra-Lite Plus is made of aluminum, easy to carry and comes with a flip-up handrail, while the Werner 6006 Fiberglass Step Ladder is made of electricity-safe fiberglass. The McMaster-Carr Two-Side Access Ladder allows two people to use it at one time. 

Inspect the ladder. Be sure the ladder’s feet are intact and stable and check for damage on any other parts of the ladder. The ladder should not sway from side to side and should be clean of any materials like paint or oil that could cause slips. Set up the ladder in a safe way, on stable ground and away from dangerous obstacles. Werner’s Type IA Fiberglass Leaning Ladder securely leans against flat wall surfaces, corners, poles and studs.

Maintain three spots. When climbing or working on a ladder, always keep three points of contact on the ladder—two feet and one hand. Don’t try to climb the ladder with tools or equipment in your hands; instead, use helpful tools like the Werner PK76-9 Universal Pail Shelf or the Monkey Rung Products Monkey Klamp.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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