This post will look at how to use a step ladder – a step ladder is a very common ladder used when house painting as it allows easy access to areas that are usually just out of reach, additionally the step ladder does not need to be supported by a wall or other object making it very versatile and useful for reaching areas directly overhead. A typical application of the step ladder when first “cutting-in” the room; providing easy access to where the ceiling meets the wall.
A step ladder just about exactly resembles the shape of the letter “A” as it has a cross bar that holds both sides in position and two diagonal sides, one side has steps and other a simple metal support. This allows a person to easily climb up the side with steps. It’s important to note that the top rung or apex of the step ladder should never be used to stand on as the ladder can tip over very easily.
Steps to follow for proper step ladder safety
When considering how to use a step ladder a person should follow these steps:
- When opening the step ladder you should always open it up to its maximum width. Only when it is fully open will you be able to push the spreader brace into it’s proper position to support the ladder. Remember to push the shelf on the front of the step ladder down as far as it will go.
- Be sure that you have the ladder positioned flat on level ground. Be cautious if the area you are working in has debris on the floor or nearby. When stepping off the ladder, always be sure that you are stepping onto level ground and not an object that might tip or cause you to lose your balance. Be certain to use a rubber mat or other surface such as a rug if the floor is slippery to ensure the ladder will not slide or slip around.
- When climbing the step ladder always hold the upper steps with both hands while climbing. It may seem like a good idea to hold the side rails but the safest technique is to hold the steps in front of you.
- Again, never sit or stand on the very top rung of the ladder or the step immediately below the top, this is very dangerous. The ladder is not intended to be used this way as it has very little stability to provide when you are perched at the top, tipping the ladder over in these circumstances is not out of the question sending you to the floor!
- Never use the bucket shelf to support you in any fashion – this part of the step ladder is strictly for tools.
Step ladders come in a variety of sizes ranging from baby sized 3-foot step ladders to massive 20-foot ladders. For most house painting work a typical 6-foot step ladder will be all that’s necessary. How to use a step ladder should never be overlooked especially for someone who is inexperienced with ladders or painting in general. Play it safe and if you remember to follow the above rules you should have a safe and productive experience using a ladder.