Without ladders we wouldn’t have warehouses – period! Ladders
are so integral to warehouse operations we hardly give them a second thought. Ladders are not only vital to our business but can also prove hazardous if we don’t use them with care and proper safety procedures. We must choose the right ladder and follow the right safety techniques to avoid becoming another workplace injury statistic. Here is a guide to the different ladders you can choose for dedicated applications, as well as some rules around safety.
Types of ladders for warehouses
One of the most common types of ladders in warehouses are industrial step ladders
. They are heavy duty and are fitted with wide steps with rubber grips for safety. These can be single or double sided.
Order picking ladders are the backbone of any warehouse. Lightweight and manoeuvrable, these are designed for efficient and safe stock picking or order picking. These can be affixed to rails and move about on casters.
Platform ladders are made of aluminium or fibreglass and have a wide platform at the top for added mobility. They can range from 600mm to 3600mm and are solutions to reaching elevated areas.
Other kinds of ladders around the warehouse are extension ladders to get up at ledges or hard-to-reach maintenance areas. The safety step – usually a high-vis coloured plastic block with anti-slip tape fitted around the surfaces – are also handy when short boosts are required.
Personal protective gear and safety railings
With all height-based work, personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to safety. Using anti-slip gloves or shoes can help keep people safe when climbing ladders or when they’re on platforms. In warehouses, higher pallet racks or shelves may have safety railings
installed to ensure there’s grip for the user. Other PPE includes harnesses or anchor points for extra safety.
Proper ladder climbing and use
Everyone who climbs a ladder should always be aware of the three-point contact rule – two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot on the ladder. Other precautions for ladder use include:
- Checking ladders for cracked rungs, worn rubber feet, or other dangers
- Ladders must always be on stable ground
- Extension ladders must rest one metre from the base of the wall/ledge, and extend at least a metre over the ledge
- Using a tool belt or spotter to hand tools up the ladder instead of carrying loads by yourself
- Following the rules on load bearing
- Taking your time and not rushing – this can lead to deadly mistakes
Safety ladders encourages a safe workplace
Using and training people in ladder use and safety ensures a safe work environment for employees, employers, and visitors alike. They also help you with workplace health and safety compliance and reduce your liability. It all lends into creating a culture of safety and better health.
Checkout our Ladder Safety Checklist to help ensure you are safely using your ladder.
To see our range of heavy duty ladders for warehouse applications, contact Backsafe Australia
today on 1300 305 314