Table of Contents
- Importance of Ladder Safety in Electrical Work
- Safety Tips When Using Ladders
Some individuals are scared of heights. Some others are a lot bolder, and, at the risk of exaggeration, would not mind hanging from a cliff by their middle fingers. Regardless of whether or not you have a phobia of being at elevated heights, a truth still stands undoubtedly. Working at elevated heights of about seven feet and above is dangerous and could potentially be fatal if done without care. This is even more so when electricity and electrical lines get involved. It is for this reason that you must observe ladder safety.
Ladder safety is essentially a phrase used to refer to an activity or a collection of activities carried out as precautionary measures when working with ladders. These are done to ensure that the risks involved in the process are reduced to a bare minimum.
While working with electricity, for example, it is important to remember that you must not work with conductive ladders. Aluminium ladders are not acceptable. Metal ladders are absolutely unacceptable! The kind of ladder that can be generally used while working with electricity is a fibreglass ladder. It does not conduct electricity and as such, it is the best choice under those circumstances.
Importance of Ladder Safety in Electrical Work
There is almost unarguably one major reason ladder safety is important in electrical work. The reason is none other than the prevention of unfortunate occurrences and by implication, the preservation of human life. These “unfortunate occurrences” could be anything from being shocked to getting injured and even dying. That is why it is very important to ensure that you use non-conductive ladders when working with electricity. You can trust us when we tell you that they are your best bet.
The reason behind the statement we made above is simple. You could be an electrician or an engineer or even just a home owner. Regardless of your reason for getting involved with electricity, take this scenario as an example. It should help you understand the need for ladder safety in electrical work better. You need to make minor/major repairs to a faulty line in a particular location. Unfortunately, that electrical line is a few feet above your head and it is quite difficult reaching it without the aid of a ladder. As such, you decide to get the portable ladder you use in carrying out duties such as the one you are faced with in this scenario.
As soon as the ladder is setup, you get right to work. You are disconnecting, reconnecting, screwing in, and plugging. While you are busy doing all of this, one of the electrical lines that was left uninsulated accidentally came in contact with your ladder. At this point, two things are possible but they are dependent on two entirely different things. If you happen to have chosen a non-conductive ladder in this scenario, you would be safe. Of, course it largely depends on the product range. Some non-conductive ladders are known to be able to resist as much as thirty thousand volts of electricity. As such, you are largely covered if the exposed line comes in contact with your ladder.
However, if you happen to have chosen a conductive ladder in this scenario like one made out of aluminium or metal, you would be in a lot of trouble. Depending on the amount of electricity in the exposed line, you could be shocked. In this case, you would most likely lose your balance and fall. The fall could either lead to injuries or death depending on the height you fall from.
If, however, there is a lot of electricity in the exposed line, you could be electrocuted and lose your life before even hitting the ground. This is the major reason you must always be cautious when using ladders during electrical work. According to World Health Organization, over three hundred deaths related to ladders are recorded in the United States of America annually. Ladder safety is a rather big deal, especially when you are working with electricity.
Safety Tips When Using Ladders
- Always use non-conductive ladders when working with electricity.
- Do not stand at the highest rung on the ladder. It is a lot easier to trip and fall from this point because most ladders are not built to accommodate your full weight at the top of the ladder.
- Always set up your ladder on even and level ground. That way, it would be a lot less difficult for the ladder to shake and cause you to fall.
- Always inspect the ladder before using it.
- Do not stretch or overreach when using a ladder. Rather, climb up another step to reach what you are trying to reach or just get a taller ladder.
When working with ladders and electricity, the most important thing to take note of is your safety. Remember to always put that first from the beginning to the end of your work so as to avoid unpleasant occurrences.