Aluminum Extension Ladders

Don't Fall For It! -- Practice Aluminum Extension Ladder Safety

Aluminum Extension Ladders

Right now I'm thinking about my good friend Doug (this is a true story). He was a roofer, in business for himself. He earned a good living, for a while at least -- now he sits in a lonely little room in an assisted living center. Why? He had an accident -- while at work, he fell from his aluminum extension ladder, because he did not take proper safety precautions. I don't want that to happen to you! So here are some aluminum extension ladder safety tips --

First of all, make sure that you are using the right kind of aluminum extension ladder. What do I mean by this? Well, for example, don't try to use a ladder that is too short -- when you do, you may need to stretch out in an unnatural way to reach something -- and this can throw your balance off. Make sure that you purchase or rent an aluminum extension ladder that is long enough to reach where you need to go.

Another aspect of using the "right" kind of aluminum extension ladder has to do with capacity. Let's face it guys, some of us weigh a bit more than we would like to admit. All aluminum extension ladders have a capacity rating -- the recommended maximum load (in pounds) that should be put on that ladder at any time. Please don't exceed that capacity rating! Be careful here -- when you are using your ladder you should not only take into consideration your own weight, but the additional weight of any objects that you might be carrying up the ladder with you -- this extra weight could cause your aluminum extension ladder to simply give way unexpectedly, and you will go crashing to the ground -- perhaps with disastrous results. Don't forget: keep within capacity.

Here's another important safety consideration: you need to continually inspect your aluminum extension ladder -- you need to inspect the rungs to make sure that they are still firmly attached, and should not wobble. You need to examine the vertical uprights to make sure that they have not become bent or twisted. You need to examine the pulleys, ropes, and hooking mechanisms (these are called "dogs" and "pawls") on your aluminum extension ladder -- if anything looks worn out, broken, or worn through -- do not use that ladder until it can be properly prepared.

Guys that are using an extension ladder for their day-to-day work should probably examine their ladders daily -- I like to check mine out at the end of the day when loading them back on my truck. This way if I find anything that needs to be repaired on my aluminum extension ladders I can make a note and make sure it's tended to right away. If you wait until the next day to do the inspection -- worse yet if you wait until you are on the job site -- if you find anything wrong with your aluminum extension ladder, you'll be tempted to use it anyway, simply because your workday has already begun.