To avoid accidents, you should be careful with ladders: The angle of attack of the ladder is crucial for safety.
Although it is much safer to use a ladder to reach an elevated position than, for example, a table and chairs, ladders remain dangerous work equipment. To gain height safely, it is essential to follow important basic rules when using them – even if this means the work takes longer. The angle of attack of the ladder is crucial for safety when working on the ladder. You can find out how to set up the ladder safely here.
Single ladders must be set up at an angle of between 65° and 75° to prevent the ladder base from tipping outwards on the one hand and slipping away on the other. The correct angle can be determined either with a folding rule (ratio of distance of the ladder foot to the climbed object to the lean-to height = 1:4) or by using the elbow method. To do this, stand upright at the first step of the erected ladder and extend the bent arm towards the ladder. If the elbow is then in line with the steps, the angle of contact is correct.
Additional safety is provided by a second person holding the ladder in the lower section.Multi-part fruit ladders may only be climbed if the upper section rests on a branch. In the case of free-standing three-part stepladders, the sliding part may only be used up to the fifth rung.If you do not want to climb that high, it is often sufficient to erect a scaffold. When plastering a wall or trimming a hedge, it is usually sufficient to erect a work platform, which bridges the missing centimeters and creates great safety.
What you should bear in mind when using ladders
- Before each use, inspect ladders for obvious defects.
- Immediately withdraw defective ladders from use.
- Select ladder type according to working height, work task and ground conditions.
- Set up ladders on level and stable ground.
- Ladders should not be used in weather conditions that create additional hazards.
- Place lean-to, extension and multipurpose ladders only on safe surfaces.
- Position single, extension and multi-purpose ladders at an angle of 65° to 75° to the horizontal.
- Position single-step ladders so that the steps are horizontal.
- Set up single, extension and multi-purpose ladders on earth, grass or other flexible ground with steel tips, if possible.
- Stepladders may only be used with tensioned spreader safety devices.
- Stepladders must not be used as lean-to ladders.
- In the case of mobile stepladders, insert the pressure-resistant spreading safety devices.
- Secure mobile stepladders and platform ladders against unintentional movement.
- Use single ladders with a height of 3 m or more only with foot extensions.
- Use of stepladders or platform ladders as a workplace.
- Ladders must not be loaded more than specified by the manufacturer.
- Climbing legs of ladders may only be accessed by one person at a time.
- Persons working on the ladder must not lean out.
- The top three steps of lean-to and extension ladders must not be stepped on.
- In the case of stepladders with attached extension ladder, the top four steps of the extension ladder must not be climbed.
- Leaning, extension and multi-purpose ladders are suitable for climbing over if they protrude at least one meter or if there are restraint possibilities on site.
- Do not climb from stepladders or multi-purpose ladders in the position of use onto elevated workplaces or equipment.
- Step onto stepladders without a holding device only up to the third uppermost step.
- In the case of ladders used as workplaces, the standing position on the ladder must not be higher than 5 m above the installation surface.
- If the stand is higher than 2 m, the ladder may not be used for more than two hours.
- The weight of the material and tools to be carried must not exceed 10 kg.
- When transporting loads (e.g. tools) on the ladder, safe contact with the ladder must be ensured (hold on with one hand).
- No objects with a wind-attack surface of more than 1 m² may be carried.
- No substances or equipment may be used on the ladder that pose additional hazards to employees (e.g. acids, hot bitumen).
- Employees must stand with both feet on a step or platform.
- High force work must not be performed from the ladder.
- Ladders may only be used as access ladders for short-term construction work.
- When using the ladder as a traffic route, the height difference to be bridged must not exceed
- Ladders may be used as internal scaffold ladders to connect a maximum of two scaffold levels.
- If ladders are used along or on traffic routes, additional measures against falling over may be required, e.g. barriers, use of safety guards.
- Have damaged ladder parts professionally replaced or repaired, otherwise render ladder unusable and dispose of it.
- Check ladders regularly for proper condition. The type, scope and deadlines must be specified for this purpose.
- Regular inspection by an authorized person.
- Store wooden ladders protected against the effects of weather and temperature.