A rolling ladder has wheels so that you can easily move it side to side and even forward and backward. The base of the ladder supports that weight, which makes large ladders much easier to move. Some rolling ladders are standalone and can be moved freely. Others are attached to a structure and can only be moved along a track. In either case, there are certain safety tips you should adhere to in order to ensure well-being for all users.
Pick the Right Ladder for the Job
Most rolling ladder mishaps occur because the ladder was not well-suited to the application. Step width, platform height and slop angle are all important considerations. Another important consideration is tread type, and there are options like rubber, grip strut and perforated.
Inspect the Ladder
Ladders should be inspected before each use to ensure that they are stable and that there are no obstructions. Problem areas to look for during a daily inspection include wobble, broken welds, bent wheels, loose fasteners and so on. In commercial environments, OSHA also requires that every rolling ladder have a more comprehensive inspection performed annually.
Follow the Three-Point Rule
The most essential of the guidelines that OSHA has set forth is the three-point rule. This rule applies to all ladders and not just rolling ladders. The gist of this rule is that the user should have three points of contact at all times, such as two feet and one hand.
Train Employees on Usage
If you are an employer, train your employees on proper usage of rolling ladders. Never assume that a ladder is a basic tool and that everyone knows how to use them in a safe manner. The three-point rule, for instance, is a very important safety technique, and many people who have never worked in a warehouse environment before are not aware of it.
Use a Helper
Generally, a rolling ladder should not be used alone and at least in two-person teams. If it is necessary to lift something via the ladder, then having a person or multiple people carry it is not the proper technique. OSHA recommends a team lift using as many people as is required.
Clean and Maintain the Ladder
Make sure the ladder is clean at all times and never leave it slick or at least put it out of action until it is completely dry. Whenever there is any sign of wear, have that part proactively replaced.
Adhere to OSHA regulations for rolling ladders at all times. Be mindful that regular inspections and maintenance are responsibilities that will be expected of you during a formal inspection. If you ever have any doubts about the safety of a rolling ladder, do not use it. Call in a professional.