Before getting started with how to secure a ladder, let us see why is important to do so with some stats and facts.
Did you know that every year hundreds of people receive emergency treatment for ladder-related injuries? We usually think that ladders are safe to use and serious injuries do not occur while using one, but this is not true.
Ladder accidents occur all the time leading to serious injuries and sometimes even death. This happens because people fail to adhere to safe work practices while using ladders.
Let us look at a few startling statistics about the severity and frequency of ladder-related accidents :
- 50% of accidents occur when carrying things while climbing
- Over the past decade, there has been an increase of almost 50% in ladder-related injuries.
- Almost 15% of occupational fatalities are related to ladder deaths
- Seven Hundred of occupational mortality is due to elevated falls
- Fractures are the most common injury that accounts for 32%
The data mentioned above tell us how important is ladder safety. By providing training to climbers and paying utmost attention to the equipment being used, 100% of such accidents can be easily prevented.
Also, by understanding the reasons that cause such accidents, a majority of mishaps can also be avoided.
4 Main Reasons For Ladder Accidents
Let us see some of the most common reasons of ladder accidents.
Using a Wrong Type of Ladder
We all know the importance of using the right tools for a particular job and that applies to ladder as well.
One must take into account basic things such as length and maximum weight load the ladder can take. If the climber exceeds the maximum weight carrying limit then the ladder break causing injuries.
Height is another crucial aspect to consider, as many mishaps occur when the ladders are too short to carry out a specific task.
It is wise to select a new ladder with appropriate height for the job instead of standing on the topmost rung to reach or placing it on something to gain the necessary height, which could be extremely dangerous.
Using a Damaged or Worn-out Ladders
Like every accessory we use in our day-to-day life, ladders also have a serviceable life.
The stress caused due to climbing up and down the ladder causes it to break after a few years. Such damaged and old ladders are extremely perilous as they can breakdown while in use leading to serious injuries.
Inspect before using the ladder and if there is any damage then avoid using it.
One of the major causes of ladder-related accidents can be attributed to human error. It is important to follow the user manual provided by the manufacturer.
Avoid meddling with the ladder by altering or lengthening it in any way.
The ground on which the ladder is to be placed must be firm and level. Avoid placing it in front of an entrance like a door that is not blocked, guarded or locked.
How to Secure A Ladder? – Things To Consider
A majority of ladder-related mishaps occur because they are not used properly. Whether they are not secured, placed at the wrong angle, not on a level and firm surface, using a worn-out ladder, not tall enough, lashed together, or a number of other issues, they are all done wrong! So, how do you secure a ladder?
To properly stabilize and secure the ladder, the simple trick is to begin from downside up.
3 Things To Consider For Ladder Safety
The ladder being used should be in good working condition just the way the manufacturer of the product intended it to be. In case, the ladder is in two sections, ensure that both these sections are in place.
Inspect whether the rungs are unbroken or unbent. The ladder must be free of grease, oil or other such substance as it could cause slipping. Also, the safety feet must be in proper condition and in place.
Base Of Ladder
As mentioned above, the ladder must always be placed on a level and firm surface and not on mulch beds, mud puddles or areas that are dug up recently.
Also, placing it on smooth surfaces such as waxed floors could be treacherous, especially if the safety feet are not in proper condition.
Once you have placed the ladder in a perfect place, the next stage is to consider what is around its base. Make sure, there are no cords, hoses, tools, debris or anything else as it could lead to tripping.
The cluttered ground is perilous both whiles approaching it to climb and also while climbing down.
How to Place a Ladder?
It can be perilous if you do not place the ladder at a certain angle. The 4:1 rule comes in handy in this regard.
It simply means that for every 4 feet of elevation that you need to ascend the base should be a foot away from the surface of the wall.
For example, A twenty-foot ladder must be placed about 5-feet from the wall that you would be accessing. This is an easy safety tip to remember and perfect for novices who may use the ladder occasionally.
Once you ensure that the ground is clear, the safety feet are intact with the base on a stable, firm surface, focus on the top of the ladder.
Usually, the lateral movement occurs when the person is towards the top of the ladder. So, how to avoid this? Even if the surface is perfect, your motion and weight can cause this issue.
There are certain things you can do here. First, secure the top. However, avoid using the lanyard of the ladder or binding something to the middle or base of the ladder.
You can secure the top by fixing it to something on the structure that you are climbing with wire or rope using ladder hooks.
It is not recommended to use the ladder on an uneven surface. However, if it is absolutely necessary to do so then make sure to level the ground or use ladder levelers before using the ladder.
Here are some ladder aides which you can use to use ladders on uneven and slippery grounds.
The ladder leveler was introduced after several years of propping ladders on the uneven sloping ground using wood or bricks to get the required level.
This is easy to use, strong and portable too. It can be used on any type of ladder from extension ladders, multi-purpose ladders to standard step ladders.
One of the most recommended products is ladder leveler by Provision Tools. It can be used to level any kind of ladder including the step ladder. It supports 227 kilos and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
The Ladder Mat is the best leveling device that can be used to prevent sinking of the ladder into the soft ground like the lawn.
These mats are used under the ladder legs to prevent it from slipping on a shiny or polished surface. The ladder stop mat like provides good anti-slip protection and is suitable for both indoors and outdoors.
Where And How To Rest The Top Of The Ladder?
The top of the ladder must always rest on a solid surface. Make sure that the surface can bear the load.
Avoid resting it on the windowpane, window sash, gutter, or any other such thing that can easily move or break. It is recommended to firmly secure the ladder both at the top and base to avoid slipping sideways or slipping outwards.
Test the whole set-up before using it and make sure that it is secure.
A few accessories that can help you to secure the ladder at the top are as follows:
A ladder stand-off, also known as ladder stabilizer is used to increase the ladder’s stability. It has non-skid rubber pads and wide tubular arms that can grip the wall.
They can be used on any kind of extension ladder, which allows bestriding wide windows while providing a steady workstation. Stabilizers are of two types – adjustable and fixed depth. The former is more versatile.
The top choice for ladder stabilizers includes and These products are ideal for extension ladders and are made of high-quality durable material.
The product locks perfectly in place on the extension ladder providing good stability. It features two rubble bumpers that protect any surface that it is leaning against.
The main purpose of this accessory is to secure the ladder in place and distribute the weight against the fascia instead of the gutter.
It offers protection while cleaning the roof or gutters at home. Products such as are highly recommended. This easy to use ladder mount provides gutter protection and fits inside gutter of 5” or 6”.
Choosing the Right Ladder
Not all ladder is the same. And not all of them be used for all the purposes.
You need to know which ladder to use when and which ladder will be safest to work with in particular conditions.
There are different kinds of ladders available these days. So, it is quite overwhelming when it comes to purchasing one. You need to be aware of the options available.
Below are some ladders that are used for different jobs. Here is a post about different kinds of ladders and which ladder you actually need.
As the name suggests, these ladders can be altered to various configurations and can be used by one or two of them at a time. It can be changed into a stairway stepladder, extension ladder, and twin stepladder.
These are convenient to use as they can be adjusted to any length you want. Hence, it is ideal for jobs that require working at different heights.
These are standalone ladders which means they can be secure and stable on its own and need not be supported against anything. The platform provided at the top rung can be used to place tools.
This is a uniquely designed ladder where the back part of it is decreased in size, but the stability is still intact.
This can be used to reach the tree trunks easily for jobs like seasonal trimming or for gathering fruits. Hence, this is an ideal unit for those who pick fruits from orchards regularly.
This is also referred to as the A-frame ladder because when opened up, the stepladder forms the letter ‘A’. The ladder does not need any surface to lean against due to its ‘A’ design.
These ladders are perfect for tasks where the user has to work at great heights.
The unique feature of these ladders is that they can be extended when needed and then shortened if not in use to save space. This feature also makes it easy to transport the ladder.
Think telescopic ladder will fit best for your job? Then click here to find the best one!
This provides a small height that helps users to reach areas like pantry shelves or high cupboards. These are compact and hence easy to store.
That was all about how to secure a ladder. Even though ladders are one of the simplest and handiest tools, they can be highly dangerous if you use them without caution. So, do not take the ladder set up casually but take the necessary steps to secure it before using it for your work.