Check the condition of ladders that have been dropped or have fallen before using them again.
Inspect ladders before storing to make sure they are in good condition to store, or need repair, replacement or remove from the site.
What should you look for when inspecting any ladder?
missing or loose steps or rungs (they are loose if you can move them by hand)
damaged or worn non-slip feet
loose nails, screws, bolts or nuts
loose or faulty spreaders, locks, and other metal parts in poor repair
rot, decay or warped rails in wooden ladders
cracks and exposed fibreglass in fibreglass ladders
cracked, split, worn or broken rails, braces, steps or rungs
sharp edges on rails and rungs
rough or splintered surfaces
corrosion, rust, oxidization and excessive wear, especially on treads
twisted or distorted rails. Check ladders for distortion by sighting along the rails. Using a twisted or bowed ladder is hazardous.
missing identification labels
What other things should I look for when inspecting stepladders?
loose or bent hinges and hinge spreaders
broken stop on a hinge spreader
loose pail shelf
What should you look for when inspecting extension ladders?
loose, broken or missing extension locks
defective locks that do not set properly when ladder is extended
sufficient lubrication of working parts
defective cords, chains and ropes
missing or defective pads or sleeves
What should you do after inspecting any ladder?
Tag any defective ladders and take them out of service.
Clean fibreglass ladders every three months. Spray lightly with a clear lacquer or paste wax.
Protect wooden ladders with a clear sealer or wood preservative.
Replace worn or frayed ropes on extension ladders.
Lubricate pulleys on extension ladders regularly.
Tag and take out of service any ladder that is has defects, or is broken or bent. Destroy ladders that cannot be repaired safely by a person authorized by the manufacturer. Ladders should be destroyed in a way that makes them useless.
What are some things you should not do after inspecting ladders?
Do not make temporary or makeshift repairs.
Do not try to straighten or use bent or bowed ladders.
Document last updated on June 20, 2016
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