How to use a ladder correctly

Jason
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How to use a ladder correctly

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Project Overview

Ladders are one of the most useful pieces of equipment you can have around the home. But the higher up you climb, the further you can fall, so it is important to know what you are doing. We’ll teach you how to use three different types of ladder properly and show you some gear that helps makes working on a ladder a little easier.
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Quick Fix

Quick Fix

A quick fix project usually takes around 1-2 hours

 
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Ladder safety tip

Ladders are important tools but they need to be used the right way. Falling off a ladder is responsible for more hospital visits than any other accident in the home. The safest way to use a ladder is to open the legs fully and lock the hinges in place. This ensures the ladder won’t collapse and makes it as stable as possible.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Always use a nail bag when working on a ladder
2 Ladder’s Little Helper
3 How to use a small step ladder
4 How to use a large step ladder
5 Using a ladder limb
6 How to use an extension ladder
7 General guidelines for working with ladders
  • Step 1. Always use a nail bag when working on a ladder

    When you are working on any sort of ladder, it is worth wearing a nail bag. It leaves your hands free to work and keep you balanced. It also means you can carry all your tools and the other gear to save you from climbing up and down.
  • Step 2. Ladder’s Little Helper

    The Ladder’s Little Helper is a patented design accessory that helps prevent accidents, movement and scratching of gutters when you lean a ladder up against your roof. Simply hang the device off the edge of your gutter and rest your ladder on top of it.
  • Step 3. How to use a small step ladder

    The small step ladder is lightweight and ideal for basic day-to-day jobs around the home. Always make sure it is fully open with its horizontal arms locked before you climb on it. You should also pay attention to the safety signs stuck on it. The first tells you how much weight the ladder can cope with. The second shows you how high you can safely climb and still lean against the ladder.
  • Step 4. How to use a large step ladder

    The large step ladder works the same way as the small one, but as you get higher, wearing sturdy footwear becomes essential. Also, some larger step ladders have a small shelf at the top for resting equipment like paint tins or hand tools. It’s important to remember that the shelf is not strong enough to hold a person’s weight.  
  • Step 5. Using a ladder limb

    When you are high up on an extension ladder, there are times it would be useful to have a spare hand. The ladder limb is cleverly designed to slip into the middle of a ladder rung and hold a bucket or a tin of paint, so your hands are free to do the job and keep you safe.
  • Step 6. How to use an extension ladder

    When using an extension ladder follow the four-to-one ratio. For every four metres the ladder goes up, the base needs to move back one metre. If you are climbing a high ladder, a second person should keep the ladder steady by resting their feet against the base and firmly holding the side rails.
  • Step 7. General guidelines for working with ladders

    There are some general guidelines that are worth following with any type of ladder. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure your ladder is in good condition before you use it. You should also check that the ladder has rubber feet on it, always set it up on solid ground and have the right ladder for the job. Finally, make sure there are no power lines or electrical cables in the way and avoid climbing a ladder in strong winds or wet conditions. 
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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