Ladders - Storage and Handling

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What is the proper way to store ladders?

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  • Return ladders to the storage area after use.
  • Store ladders where they are protected from the weather.
  • Store ladders where people or machinery will not come in contact with it unintentionally.
  • Support ladders horizontally on racks or mount on the walls. To prevent sagging, support ladders every 2 m (6 ft) as shown in the figure.
Support Ladders
  • Keep ladders clean and free of foreign materials.
  • Ensure that storage areas are easy to reach.
  • Keep wooden ladders in a well-ventilated location, away from dampness and excessive heat.
  • Avoid long overhangs beyond support points when transporting ladders on vehicles.
  • Pad racks on vehicles with soft material to reduce wear and road shocks.
  • Tie ladders to each support point to reduce damage.
  • Mark ladders which overhang vehicles with a red or orange flag.
  • Grasp ladders near the centre when carrying them.
  • Use caution when carrying ladders through passageways, doorways or any place where your view is obstructed.
  • Use a partner to help carry long or heavy ladders.
  • Make sure that you and your partner are on the same side when carrying a ladder. Stay in step. Work out in advance any hand or voice signals to coordinate stopping or changing direction.
  • Always tag and remove from service a defective ladder for repair by a person authorized by the manufacturer, or replace.
Carrying Ladders

What should you avoid when storing ladders?

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  • Do not hang ladders from rails or rungs.
  • Do not store materials on ladders.
  • Do not store ladders in a way that they might fall on a person, cause a trip or otherwise cause an injury.
  • Do not expose fibreglass ladders to excessive temperatures (above 93°C or 200°F).
  • Do not hold the front of ladders at head level when carrying them.
  • Do not use a ladder which has been exposed to heat or fire. Inspect visually, and check for its strength characteristics.
  • Do not expose plastic-reinforced ladders to excessive sunlight. Ultraviolet light may cause the plastic resins to degrade. If the strength of the ladder is questionable, replace the ladder.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2021-08-25