How to Inspect and Maintain Your Ladder | Safety, Hazards, Training, Oregon OSHA

November 6, 2019 posted by


Jeff: When I’m inspecting a ladder, what am
I looking for? I have a 75-page technical data sheet book
that will tell you everything you’re looking for. But, on a job site when you’re doing it, the
very first thing is it’s got to have tags. It’s got to have all the tags and they’ve
got to be legible. Ken: You can’t change anything about that
ladder, that the manufacturer originally put on that ladder, built it to that standard,
and tested it. So, it’s a real risk. But we do require the employer to know what
that ladder is designed to do, what its maximum weights are, so everything that is on a label,
the employer is supposed to know that. Bryon: Inspection, we always recommend that
you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for inspections. You always want to start at the base of the
ladder and work your way up. Make sure that the feet are in good condition,
any pads, everything is operating properly. Look at the side rails, make sure that they’re
still tight. Look at each and every single rung or step,
make sure that there’s no dents, no damage, no punctures, excessive splinters, fraying,
or loose materials. Make sure the spreader bars, if they’re equipped,
that the spreader bar is still engaged properly. Just give the portable ladder an overall,
top-to-bottom, visual inspection; physically feeling each component, making sure that it
still meets the original manufacturer’s specifications. Trever: Regarding our ladders and inspections,
the crews have been trained to inspect if it’s dented, if it’s bent, if something’s
just not right, obviously not to use it; red tag it, let their supervisor know. And then our safety director will go out and
inspect it and determined that hey we can’t repair it, then we’ll cut them up throw them
away, recycle them actually is what we normally do, and just to make sure that they’re not
being used. And then also when the safety director is
going out doing jobsite audits every week, every day, he’s going to be looking at those
ladders when he’s there too. So, if he sees something that the crew may
have missed, that’s kind of our second line of defense to ensure that they’re using safe
ladders. Clark: But as far as maintenance goes to a
ladder, if that ladders broken, cracked, bent, faded, in the garbage it goes. Jeff: You can’t do it. Once the ladder is broken, it’s broken. It’s done. You’re not going to fix the fiberglass. If you lose, you know these rivets are put
in a special way, you’re not going to re-rivet it with, a you know an AA rivet, there’s no
way. So, the idea about it is once it can’t pass
inspection, what do you do with it? You destroy it. See, you don’t send it home with an employee
that needs a ladder at home, because if it won’t pass inspection on the jobsite, is it
now going to pass inspection at your house? And then it fails and then he comes back to
you and says you gave me a bad ladder. So ya, destroy it, just destroy it.

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