About Australian Ladder Standards and how they relate to you.
Ladder safety is not only about Standards but also Standards and You.
The Australian Ladder Standard 1892.1 provides a specification to minimise risks to your safety. The following is an extract from the Objective of the standard;
“Objective: The objective of this standard is to provide designers, manufacturers and regulatory authorities with the minimum performance and dimensional requirements for portable ladders, in order to minimise the risk to the safety of portable ladder users. Performance requirements include strength, stability and durability criteria for the evaluation of portable ladders.”
Make this work for you.
Choose a ladder that conforms to the standard. This will ensure that it has been designed, manufactured and tested to the standard and will pose minimal risk when correctly used. However what is does not do is answer the question – What will be the correct ladder type for your job?
Find the correct ladder type for your job.
- Do a Workplace Risk Assessment and select the correct type and size of ladder for the job. (Get assistance with workplace Risk Assessments from Safework Australia www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au or your state based authority.)
- Make sure the ladder to be used meets the standard and confirm this by verifiable product labelling.
In summary, the manufacture of a product to a standard does not in itself mean the product will be suitable for your task. It does however form part of the Workplace Risk Assessment that you need to undertake.
Choose ladders that comply with Australian Ladder Standards.
Use your ladder correctly.
Professional trades and home owners commonly use ladders. Therefore making the right choice of ladder for the job as well as using it correctly is essential to minimise risk of accident. The following rules provide a guide to safety when using ladders. Also provided on the ladder are manufacturers instructions. Please ensure that you follow them.
Rules for Safe Ladder Use
- Use the right ladder for the job and also make sure that it meets Australian Standards.
- Inspect your ladder for damage before every use.
- Do not use a ladder if you have a physical or medical condition that could place you at risk.
- Position the ladder on a flat, stable surface. Also consider using safety equipment such as leg levelers, anti-slip gutter guards and stabilisers.
- Always keep three points of contact with the ladder. This means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.
- Only carry small items up or down a ladder and only items that allow you to keep three points of contact.
- Don’t lean out from the ladder. Don’t reach away from the ladder.
- Never exceed the working load of the ladder. Also include the weight of your tools.
- Secure extension ladders at the top, or the bottom, or at both ends of the ladder. Otherwise have someone hold the ladder.
- Before using an extension ladder, position the base one metre away from the structure for every four metres of height.
- Make sure A-frame ladders are fully open and also locked before use.
- Under no circumstances climb past the second-top rung of a ladder. Also never straddle the top of an A-frame ladder.
- Face the ladder when climbing or descending. Also do not step off before reaching the bottom rung.
Use your ladder correctly and you will minimise the risks to your safety.
If you have any questions regarding ladder safety contact us at Ladderzone.