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Sunset Ladder & Scaffold Co. sells through distributors throughout the USA - We ship from within your state. Platform Ladders, Attic Ladders, Cage and Wall Ladders, Extension Ladders Sunset Ladder & Scaffold Logo
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Ladder Safety Tips

Ladder Safety Tips
All Sunset Ladder & Scaffold products meet or exceed all ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) codes and regulations.

Concerning OSHA Requirements

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationOSHA sets minimum national requirements for the use of ladders in business and industry. In addition, many states have their own regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act that may be even more stringent. The state codes will supersede the national OSHA standards within their own state. Users should check with their own state OSHA representative for the appropriate requirements.

The adequacy of ladders and the work practices followed by employees using them are regulated by OSHA in four sections: Portable Wood (1910.25), Portable Metal (1910.26), Fixed Ladders (1910.27) and ladders used in Construction Industry (1910.1053). These sections specify the standards to which all portable ladders must be manufactured, care and placement of ladders in the workplace and the safe use of ladders on the job.

Concerning ANSI Requirements

American National Standards Institute Depending on the material and type of ladder, different ANSI safety codes apply. The ANSI codes are as follows:
Wood Ladder
Metal Ladder
Fixed Ladder
Fiberglass Ladder
ANSI A14.1
ANSI A14.2
ANSI A14.3
ANSI A14.5
ANSI codes also have an established Duty Rating. This rating identifies which portable ladder is intended for the conditions under which the ladder can be safely used. The Duty Rating system is as follows:
Type Capable of Supporting Related Use
TYPE 111
375 lbs.
300 lbs.
250 lbs.
225 lbs.
200 lbs.
Extra Heavy Duty Industrial
Extra Heavy Duty Industrial
Heavy Duty Industrial
Medium Duty Commercial
Light Duty Household
Extensive testing and design requirements determine the appropriate Duty Rating for each ladder model. The rated load capacity includes the combined weight of the user, clothing, tools and any materials on the ladder. The test requirements have been specified with a safety factor of four to ensure the ability of the ladder to meet the Duty Rating. However, the ratings assume proper use of the ladder (especially relating to the placement angle) in order to support the specified load.

General Ladder Safety

A ladder is a tool like any other. If it is used properly and according to safety guidelines, it will give many years of trouble free service. However, if proper cautions are not taken, a ladder can be involved in an accident. Please read and follow all instructions and labels accompanying each ladder.

Two factors that deserve particular attention are proper ladder selection and electrical shock precautions:

Pay close attention to the Duty Rating of the ladder and the combined weight of the user and materials. Select a ladder with the proper capacity. Also, be sure to select a ladder of proper height to reach the work area without overextending.

Be aware of wires, electrical devices and live electrical circuits. Metal ladders conduct electricity and can create a danger of electrocution. Failure to read and follow instructions regarding electrical safety could result in serious personal injury or death.

Inspect Ladder Before Each Use

  1. Inspect upon receipt and before each use. Never climb a damaged, bent or broken ladder.All working parts must be in good working order.
  2. Make sure all rivets and joints, nuts and bolts are tight; feet, steps and rungs are secure; spreaders and pail shelf function properly (on stepladders); and rung locks, rope and pulley are in good condition (on extension ladders).
  3. If you anticipate the use of chemicals or other possibly corrosive materials, the ladder manufacturer should be consulted before use.
  4. If you are in poor health, subject to fainting spells, have physical handicap that would impair your climbing ability, or if you are under the influence of any drugs or alcohol (including legal drugs that may cause drowsiness), you should not use a ladder.
  5. Do not use in high winds or during a storm.
  6. Stay focused on safety whenever you are on the ladder, and keep your body weight between the rails.

Proper Care and Storage of Ladders

  1. Store ladders in a safe, dry place.
  2. Hang ladders on racks, at internals of 6 feet for support.
  3. Properly secure and support ladders while in transit.
  4. Keep ladders clean and free of foreign materials.
  5. Never store materials on ladders.

Step Ladders – Proper Set Up

  1. DANGER! Metal Conducts Electricity! Do not let ladders of any material come in contact with live electrical wires.
  2. Make sure stepladder is fully open, spreaders secure, and pail shelf in position.
  3. Place on firm level surface with a secure footing. Do not use on slippery surfaces. No not place on boxes, unstable bases or scaffolds to gain additional height. Do not place in front of door opening toward stepladder.

Step Ladders – Proper Climbing and Use

  1. Face stepladder when climbing up or down, keep body centered between side rails.
  2. Maintain a firm grip. Use both hands in climbing.
  3. Never climb a stepladder from the side unless stepladder is secure from side-wise motion, or climb from one stepladder to another.
  4. Do not over reach, move stepladder when needed.
  5. Do not “walk” or “jog” stepladder when standing on it.
  6. Do not stand, climb or stand on stepladder top, pail shelf, braces, or back section.
  7. Do not overload stepladders meant for one person. Do not use as a brace, platform or plank.
  8. Keep stepladder close to work, avoid pushing or pulling off the side of stepladders.

Extension Ladders – Proper Set Up

  1. DANGER! Metal Conducts Electricity! Do not let ladders of any material come into contact with live electrical wires.
  2. Secure base when raising extension and never set up ladder when it is extended.
  3. Set single or extension ladder at proper 75-1/2 degree angle by bracing ladder base a distance of ¼ total working length of extension ladder away from base of vertical support. If distance is less than 3 ft. place base of extension ladder a minimum of 3 ft. from vertical support.
  4. Set extension ladder on firm ground. Do not lean sideways. Do not use on ice or snow or slippery surface without non-skid device or securing feet.
  5. Erect extension ladder with minimum of 3 ft. extending above roof line or working surface, the top at support points.
  6. Extend top section only from ground, never by “bouncing” or from the roof.
  7. Do not overextend –maintain maximum required overlap of sections as follows:
    • Extension ladder size up to and including 32’ – 3’ overlap
    • Extension ladder size over 32’ up to and including 36’ – 4’ overlap
    • Extension ladder size over 48’ – 6’ overlap
  8. Place on a firm surface and secure footing. Do not use on slippery surfaces. Do not place on boxes, unstable bases or scaffolds to gain additional height.
  9. Do not place in front of door opening toward extension ladder.
  10. Where possible, use second person to hold extension ladder.

Extension Ladders – Proper Climbing and Use

  1. Securely engage extension ladder rung locks before climbing. Check that top and bottom ends of extension ladder rails are firmly supported.
  2. Face extension ladder when climbing up or down; keep body centered between rails.
  3. Maintain a firm grip. Use both hands in climbing extension ladder.
  4. Never climb an extension ladder from the side unless ladder is secured from side-wise motion, or climb from one extension ladder to another.
  5. Do not stand closer than 3 ft. from the top. Never climb above the top support.
  6. Do not use extension ladders in high winds.
  7. Never use extension ladder as a platform, plank or hoist. Never use extension ladder as a scaffold.
  8. Do not overload. Extension ladders are meant for one person.
  9. Keep extension ladder close to work; avoid pushing or pulling off the side of extension ladders.
  10. Never drop or apply an impact load to an extension ladder.
  11. Do not "walk" or "shift" extension ladder when standing on it.
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