Everyone knows how to use a ladder to paint their property, right? Well while everyone might know how to climb a ladder and run a brush against a wall, that doesn’t mean that it is easy to stay safe while painting from a ladder. It’s not quite as simple as placing your ladder, climbing it and getting on with the work. So, if you are thinking of carrying out any painting around your home, now could be the right time to have a complete refresher on ladder safety.
Whether you’re just adding a fresh coat of paint to a room, or carrying out a huge renovation project, it is vital to feel safe while using a ladder at all times. Working at height carries a natural level of risk, so here we take a look at what you need to do to you a ladder safely when painting a property.
Always check – is there a safer way to do this?
Whenever you work at height there is going to be an element of risk involved, and painting ceilings and high walls is no different. It is important to acknowledge, then, that the safest way to work at height is to not work at height at all. In some cases, it is actually possible to carry out the work without having to ascend a ladder.
Painting is a physical job that requires concentration and time. Standing on a ladder for a long period puts you at a greater degree on danger. So, if you can avoid the ladder entirely then you will be safer. For example, it may be the case that you can use an extending paint roller from the floor, rather than having to work at height at all. You should consider each job individually to establish whether it is the right thing to do.
Check your ladder before you use it
Whether you are regularly up and down your ladder carrying out DIY tasks, or it only makes it out of the shed every six months, you need to make sure that your ladder is in good condition to be used. Your ladder needs to have no wear or damage that could make it dangerous, and should be free from dirt that could make it possible to slip off the rungs.
If you discover that your ladder is in poor condition, then it is vital that you don’t attempt to use it, even if you believe you will only need to do so for a very short period. Working on an unsafe ladder puts you at serious risk of injury, and buying a new ladder is fast and easy.
Use the correct ladder for the job
The next thing that you need to establish before you begin painting is whether your ladder is right for the job that you are trying to carry out. It may be the case that you typically use a stepladder for any DIY tasks that you need to carry out, but if you are trying paint at a high level, and the stepladder does not provide you with enough height, then it is not appropriate for you.
Using the wrong type of ladder is dangerous, and you so you always need to carry out an assessment before you begin the work as to whether your ladder is up to the job. A ladder should never be used in a way that it has not been designed for, so if it is not suitable then you need to choose another.
If you are worried about the expense of buying a new one, ask around friends first to see if someone has something suitable.
Tips for safe ladder painting
It should first be stated that you should carry out as much work as you can without the ladder, so anything that you can get done from the ground level, you should manage this first. You also need to establish how you can use your ladder in a safe way – for example, when using a step ladder, you must never stand on the top of the ladder.
Remember to get any hard, boring work done first and that you should only ever paint what you can comfortably reach. Ladders are very safe pieces of equipment that sometimes get a bad reputation – you just have to make sure that you are using them in the right way.