Ladder safety isn’t something to take lightly. With thousands of severe ladder injuries occurring daily, it’s essential that we approach climbing to new heights with safety in mind, especially during Ladder Safety Month. Although most ladder safety instructions are geared toward being mindful of safety while climbing (which is, of course, incredibly important), we wanted to talk about ladder safety before you take that first step onto the ladder.
A heavier ladder doesn’t make a safer ladder. Although there are plenty of heavy ladders that are safe to use, the product’s weight doesn’t determine stability or durability. Grandpa’s old ladder may weigh 70 lbs., yet still work like a charm, but that doesn’t mean all ladders have to feel that way. With the improvements to manufacturing that have occurred over the past 20+ years, ladder manufacturers (Little Giant, included) have made ladders that weigh a fraction of what they used to while having a carrying capacity that exceeds that of the old ladders.
Currently, under OSHA standard 1910.27 cages are required on ladders where the climbs are over 20 feet high. In OSHA’s new standard (OSHA standard 1910.28) taking effect 11/19/2018, a ladder will not be required to have fall protection until their height is over 24 feet (24’-0-1/4” requires fall protection).