This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk discusses the issues to inspect on a ladder before using it. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout (includes Sign-In Sheet).
GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk: Ladder Inspections
Falls from ladders make up a large number of incidents on the job site. In addition to proper use, inspecting ladder condition before use can determine if a ladder is safe to use and ultimately reduce falls. Below is a list of items to inspect on a ladder before using it.
Check for the identifying manufacturers label on the side rail:
- The label provides the ladder’s specifications and capacity information.
- Ladders with damaged or illegible labels should be removed from service until new la-bels are attached.
Check the condition of the ladder itself:
- The ladder’s feet should work properly, and slip-resistant pads correctly attached.
- Steps or rungs should not be missing or loose. They should not be moveable by hand.
- Steps or rungs should be straight, clean, and not cracked.
- Spreaders, locks, & metal parts should not be loose, faulty, or in questionable condition.
- Check for cracks and exposed fiberglass on fiberglass ladders.
- Check for sharp edges on aluminum ladders.
- Visually inspect ladders for twisted or distorted rails. Check ladders rails for distortion by sighting along the rails.
Check other parts of the ladder:
- Ropes for extension ladders should be in good shape with no frays, cuts, or knots.
- Extension ladder pulleys should move freely and not bind on the rope.
What to do if a ladder is non-compliant:
- If any ladder has defects, is broken, or is bent, report your findings to your supervisor.
- Non-compliant ladders should be tagged and taken out of service. Non-compliant ladders should be repaired by a manufacturer-authorized person or be destroyed.
Ladder safety on the job is up to the user as much as the contractor or owner. Do your part by inspecting your ladder before
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