Keep your ladder safely stored: A Guide from Osha and the Experts!

Keep your ladder safely stored

It is essential to store your ladder in the appropriate manner. Moreover, proper storage is more than simply a question of taking into account the aesthetics of your office. Unfortunately, when a ladder is not kept safely and reliably, it can result in damage to the ladder, nearby items, and perhaps most significantly, humans.

If you really want to guarantee that your new ladder stays in healthy shape for as long as possible, then carefully storing it is essential. A household ladder user may opt to keep their ladder in their garage or shed. Still, commercial and industrial establishments will almost certainly have a storehouse or warehouse that may be utilized for secure ladder storage.

If you preserve your ladders incorrectly, you may notice that they begin to decay, or even worse, they may be managed to pick up and used by unauthorized persons, resulting in a potential mishap or harm to yourself or others.

Certainly, ladders are built to be quite sturdy, but taking an extra few minutes to ensure that your ladder is properly kept at the end of the day will significantly increase its average lifespan. We’ve put up this handy guide on ladder storage to help you better understand where you should keep your ladder.

The first step is to select a safe location to put your ladder where it will not be in danger of being damaged. The ideal location is somewhere that is large enough to comfortably handle the ladder in terms of both length and height, and that is also out of the way of passing people or machines that may knock the ladder over.

Some individuals choose to use a storage rack on the ceiling of their storage unit, while others prefer to use a storage rack that is installed on the wall. Any of the two options is acceptable; however, be certain that the ladder is parallel with the wall and not at risk of falling on passersby.

For keeping your ladder safely, consider the following suggestions:

  • Ladders should be kept in a dry, temperature-controlled location at all times. If you keep your ladders in a position where they can get wet or where they are exposed to high temperatures, they will last longer.
  • Set the ladder in a convenient location for storage. Either put it flat on the floor in a jam area or rest it up against a wall to keep it from moving.
  • The ladder should be stored in a safe location where it will not be damaged by cars or heavy items.
  • The ladder should be placed in a safe and accessible location that does not interfere with pedestrian traffic.
  • If you’re placing the ladder at homes, make sure it’s out of reach of children who could be enticed to climb it.
  • It’s just a matter of fundamental safety. Keep all of your gear, including ladders, in a secure storage location to ensure that your tools remain in peak operating condition while also ensuring the safety of you and anyone on the property.

However, the best storage tips are to follow are the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Here are the tips that OSHA specifies for all workers and professionals. This guide is directly from the OSHA regulation.

  • Pick a ladder storage area that is not exposed to direct sun. The UV rays from the sunlight actually break down the fibers in plastic reinforced ladders and cause plastic caps and shelves used on many metal ladders to become brittle over time. The UV rays can also cause manufacturers’ instructional and warning stickers to fade and become illegible.
  • Do not store portable ladders where they are exposed to rain, mist, steam, or other sources of moisture. This can cause wood and plastic reinforced ladders to swell over time and allow mold and mildew to form on their surfaces, making them slippery. Moisture can also contribute to metal fasteners and hardware eroding over time.
  • Make sure that portable ladders are not stored where exposed to excessive amounts of heat, such as next to a boiler, furnace, or other equipment that gets hot. Depending on the material the ladder is made from, excessive heat can cause the ladder to warp, become brittle, or even suffer burn damage. For the same general reasons, avoid storage of portable ladders near any sources of sparks or flames.
  • Do not store portable ladders next to doorways, blind corners, or near equipment traffic lanes where they can be struck by persons passing by or by moving machinery or equipment such as forklifts or rolling carts.
  • When storing portable step ladders, make sure they are folded shut and secured in an upright position, so they do not sag or twist. Portable extension ladders should be stored so they will remain flat and evenly supported. Use a strap or similar device to prevent the ladders from falling over if there is a reasonable potential to be stuck and knocked over.
  • Do not use a stored ladder to hang tools and equipment. And do not lean materials or equipment against stored ladders, as these practices can lead to unnecessary wear and twisting on the ladder.
  • Be aware of overhead hazards such as electrical lines or equipment that might be struck when selecting an area to store your portable ladders. These hazards should always be avoided as the next person to come along and grab the ladder may not be aware of the overhead hazard and make accidental contact.

[Reference 1910 Subpart D / 1926 Subpart X]

Avoid these things to make sure your ladder is stored safely and securely.

  • Ladders should not be hung from railings or rungs.
  • Materials should not be stored on ladders.
  • It is not a good idea to store ladders in such a manner that they could also fall on someone, cause a trip, or otherwise cause damage.
  • It is not recommended to expose fiberglass ladders to high temperatures (over 93°C or 200°F).
  • When hauling ladders, do not raise the front of the ladders above your head.
  • It is not recommended to utilize a ladder that has been damaged by heat or fire. Take a visual look at it and look for the traits that indicate its strength.
  • Avoid exposing plastic-reinforced ladders to prolonged periods of direct sunlight. The degradation of plastic resins may be accelerated by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. If the sturdiness of the ladder is in question, it should be replaced.

Final Words:

Storing the ladder is very important, perhaps as important as selecting a ladder for your work. This may cause injuries, and damages to you, if not stored in the proper manner.

What to do to store ladders involves more than just thinking about how to hang them on the wall. Ladders are preserved in many different ways. Some ladders fold, so if you hang them from the ceiling, be sure they’re fastened securely, so they don’t fold and fall on your car.

Extension ladders can be stored extended or collapsed. If you want to extend it for storage, go vertical. If you want it stretched, horizontal gives you more area. Obviously, storing a ladder in its non-extended condition saves space, but it may also add steps if always extended.

We hope this guide will help you with properly storing your ladders in a safe and secure manner.