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Ladders - Storage and Handling

What is the proper way to store ladders?

  • 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?

  • 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.

Document last updated on August 25, 2021

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.