Adverse winter weather conditions can be hazardous for people who work outside and at height and must be taken seriously. It is nigh on impossible to use a ladder like you would in warmer conditions. The cold weather will affect how you use a ladder in order to remain safe and injury free.
Here are a few ways of avoiding accidents during the winter weather:
Working on uneven surfaces
Accumulation of ice and snow on the ground can cause uneven surfaces. Placing a ladder on an uneven surface is an accident waiting to happen. There is a huge risk of the ladder slipping over as you climb – the reason why you should never place a ladder directly on top of snow or ice. If you can find an alternative space to place your ladder then do so, alternatively, clear the snow or ice using a snow shovel.
Zero friction on the ground
You should not place a ladder on top of snow or ice due to zero friction between the ladder and the surface. Ladders should be placed on a firm; level surface to ensure footing is secure. Snow is soft and has a tendency to shift. When placing a ladder on top of snow, it may look like it is firmly in place but as you climb up it could shift down or onto the side – causing you to lose your footing and fall.
Ice is extremely slippery, climbing up a ladder placed on an icy surface means that the slightest movement while you’re at the top of the ladder could send the ladder in any direction – don’t risk it! The Ladder M8rix Professional prevents ladder slippage and has been tested on most surfaces such as ice.
Using an extension ladder in the snow and ice
Extension ladders require the support of a building or solid structure to lean on. Leaning an extension ladder against a building with snow or ice on the roof presents additional risks, such as undisturbed snow or ice falling from the roof in your direction causing you to lose your footing and fall.
Snow or ice on a roof cannot be removed unless you climb up a ladder to remove it, therefore it is important to take extra care when setting up your equipment.
If you’re using an aluminium ladder consider wearing gloves, as the metal will be cold which will transfer to your hands and fingers – this could cause a lack of grip if numbness sets in.
For more information on ladder safety in the winter or working at height, visit our website or contact a member of staff.
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