Be honest, when was the last time you examined your ladder?
An important and trusted tool, ladders are a staple in many work environments. So commonplace in fact, they run a real danger of going unnoticed – and unchecked.
But just like any other piece of equipment, they will eventually need replacing. And with falls from a height topping the list of fatal accidents for workers, and strict health and safety rules governing the use of ladders, the message is clear. Check your ladders or regret it.
As premier providers of glass reinforced plastic (GRP), HR Kilns take a closer look at how to tell if your ladders are getting ready for replacement and highlight why making the switch to GRP ladders is the smarter – and safer – choice.
Your ladder check list: what to look for!
All ladders should be assessed for signs of damage before use. Carry out a visual assessment for:
1. Worn treads
Have the treads on your ladder worn smooth with use? If so, this will make for a hazardous climb, dramatically increasing the risk of losing grip and having a nasty accident.
Even if they’re only small, cracks are a sure sign of damage, can weaken the framework of a ladder, and reduce its ability bear loads.
3. Damaged rungs
One, two, miss a few…a broken rung is unacceptable. Yes, it can be stepped over and avoided but the strength of the ladder will be compromised, not to mention the fact that overstretching to skip a damaged rung is highly dangerous and far more likely to result in mishap.
4. Missing or worn rubberised feet
Are the rubberised or non-slip feet at the base of your ladder still fully formed and in place? If you step onto the first rung, is there any movement? Answer yes to either of these questions and it’s a warning that your ladders have seen better days.
5. Loose fittings or screws
Give your ladders a shake. Does anything rattle? Loose fittings can be a sign that it’s time to start shopping.
Other points to consider
Whilst inspecting ladders regularly is important, signs of wear aren’t always obvious. So be sure to ask yourself the following questions too:
· How old are the ladders?
The older the ladders the more likely they are to be getting ready for replacing. But not just that. If your ladders are old, what are they made of? We’ll guess a traditional material, such as metal or wood. Are we right? In which case, new ladders could not only bring you enhanced safety but also increased usability too. With modern materials offering a wealth of benefits such as manoeuvrability (GRP is incredibly lightweight) and enhanced durability.
· How used are the ladders?
Arguably more important than age, is the question of how your ladders are used. Are they relied on all day every day or once every blue moon? Are they fixed in position or regularly moved and manhandled around site?
Understandably, ladders purchased ten years ago but used infrequently are likely to be in better condition than newer ladders that endure sustained heavy use on a frequent basis.
· Have the ladders ever been damaged or dropped?
If you’re aware ladders have been involved in a significant fall, it’s probably advisable to think about a replacement. Whilst they may appear undamaged, the structural integrity could be compromised – this is particularly true of wooden or metal ladders.
Why opt for GRP ladders?
If you’re looking for superior safety and service from your equipment, then you need GRP.
You can read our blog covering the benefits of ladders made from GRP for a detailed insight but key advantages include:
- Unbeatable anti-slip qualities
- Strength and durability
- Resistance to corrosion
Order GRP ladders today
When falls from a height remain such a safety concern, why compromise on quality? Get the best product, for the best price, with HR Kilns.
Take a look at our ladder range and order yours today. Alternatively, to find out more about the benefits of GRP, or to discuss your individual requirements in more detail, why not get in touch? You can call us on 01695 557 711, email email@example.com or fill in our contact form and we’ll be back in touch shortly.