3 tips for choosing the right ladder

Ladders are used in many workplaces today, and there is one reality that all workers face: a potential for falls. Ladders come in a number of shapes and forms, and certain ladders are better for some jobs than others.

The important thing to know is that ladder falls are preventable. How? You have to start by choosing the right ladder. Here are a few things that can help you get the right ladder for the job:

1. Look at the weight rating

The first thing anyone should do is look at the weight rating. If a ladder has a 250-pound rating, you don't want to put a 150-pound person on the ladder while holding another 150 pounds of materials. That would make the ladder unsafe. Similarly, you don't want a ladder that isn't designed for commercial use, since it won't stand up to daily wear and tear.

2. Get the right length and height

Get the right length and height for a ladder before you start working. Don't prop up a stepladder in hopes that it will work like a staircase or use an extension ladder when it barely reaches the support. You want the ladder to extend at least three rungs past a support beam or roof, for instance, if you use an extension ladder. Not doing this could make it too unstable to climb.

3. Remember the material you need

Are you working with electricity? A metal ladder might not be the best option. Situations call for different ladders made from varied materials. The best ladder is usually one for multiple purposes, such as a fiberglass ladder.

These are a few things to remember about choosing a ladder. The right ladder will help prevent a workplace accident.

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