Electrician work includes a lot of time working on ladders and scaffolding. You must practice ladder safety at all times. One wrong movecan land You in the hospital, or worse.
Great part of the wire You install or repair in residential settings will be inside walls, and easy to work on from the floor. However, occasionally, especially in industrial buildings, You will have to work on ladders cause majority of the conduits in production plants run along or near the ceiling. Notwithstanding a wide range of power lifting equipment and aerial baskets, ladders still remain the only practical way to access many overhead work locations.
How Ladders Have Changed
The humble ladder was once a simple, compact and portable set of wooden steps. Over time it has developed into all sorts of sophisticated adjustable models that come in numerous styles. There are a wide range of versions available designed specifically for certain trades, including electricians. Ladder designs have not just transformed to provide convenience and additional ladder safety features, the materials used to produce ladders has changed as well. In addition, presently there are many accessories available to make ones work easier and more secure. Even with the new advances in materials, wooden ladders are by no means obsolete. Electricians, nevertheless, prefer to use fiberglass, as it does not conduct electricity either wet or dry. The six– foot and eight–foot ladders, twin–step models and twenty–four and twenty–eight foot extension ladders are the most common choices for electrician craftsman.
How Ladder Safety is Certified
Ladders are classified according to a duty rating system, which rates ladders by strength and intended use. The ANSI and OSHA apply strict testing to determine ladder safety standards, and to protect those using particular equipment. Professional and experienced electricians usually prefer ladders rated for heavy duty, as opposed to cheaper and flimsier models designed for casual use around the house.
Many ladder manufacturers have designed ladders for specific trades, and the Werner Ladder, designed specifically for electricians, is one of the best. This IAA heavy duty ladder has everything an electrician requires to make his job easier, such as:
- Evaluated for a load capacity of up to 375 pounds
- Produced of fiberglass
- Incorporates a holster top fit for holding your most required devices with an adjacent groove designed to secure a one inch pipe for fast marking and measuring
- Bungee design system to prevent instruments from falling
- Integrated holder for conduit with safety shields to prevent the worker from accidentally cutting through the rails of the ladder
- Brackets for holding wire spool
- Hook for a hacksaw
All ladders designed for electricians come with special ladder safety features and hooks and brackets for carrying tools. The adjustable A-frame design is also popular for convenience and ladder safety reasons. To be the most useful and safe for an electrician, a ladder must:
- Flexible heights of up to 21 feet for overhead lights in industrial builds or theaters
- 375 pound load capacity – capable of holding an individual and his equipment
- Produced from fiberglass and equipped with a molded top and have enough slots or brackets to keep tools safely within reach
- Twin steps to allow two people to work together
- Have a webbed pole grip to secure the ladder to pipes, poles or corners
- D-shaped rungs to provide a larger standing area
Ladders made from wood are not appropriate for an electrician as wood itself conducts electricity when wet or dirty. Fiberglass ladders are heavier than aluminum models, but much safer when working with electricity. Most of them now come with built in leg levelers, which makes them much safer when working on uneven ground.
For additional convenience and safety, many electricians use V-rungs, cable hooks, pole lashes and straps to secure the ladder and avoid accidents.
Choose the Right Ladder
The most important part about working safely is to always use the proper equipment. Most accidents occur when people try to cut corners by wanting to save money and/or time. This usually results wasting a lot of both. Use the appropriate ladder and use the proper techniques for set up and climbing. Portable ladders are put into three basic classes:
- Type I – heavy duty industrial use with a load capacity less than 250 pounds
- Type II – medium duty commercial use with a load capacity of less than 225 pounds. Suitable for painting and other low risk tasks
- Type III – light duty household use with a load capacity less than 200 pounds.
Type I ladders produced of fiberglass are the best choice for electricians. They cost more, but are more durable and safer to use around electricity.
Practice Ladder Safety At All Times
The best way to prevent accidents and injuries is always use Your equipment properly with workplace safety tips. This is really important when working on ladders.
- Obtain the right ladder for particular task
- Before using the ladder, inspect them for any cracks or broken joints
- Never put the ladder on top of something
- Set the ladder on an even and stable surface
- The ladder ought to be one foot away from whatever it is leaning against, for every four feet of height
- Always lash or fasten tall ladders securely
- For an A-frame ladder, makes sure to lock the brace securely
- When climbing onto a roof or other surface, extend the ladder at least 3 feet past the intended surface
- Always keep Your feet on the rungs
- Do not descend or climb with Your back to the ladder
- Never climb all the way to the top
Ladders, just like any other piece of the electrician equipment, should be kept clean and in excellent working order. A small crack might not seem bad, but with all of the tools and wire you may be carrying, the extra weight could snap a rung. Always work as safely as possible.