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Single Ladder

The Single Ladder is a non-self-supporting portable ladder that is non-adjustable in length, consisting of one section. It is intended for use by one person.

Single Ladders rated for heavy-duty or extra heavy-duty service range in length up to 30 feet as measured a long the side rail. Single Ladders rated for medium duty service are available in lengths up to 24 feet, and those rated for light-duty service do not exceed 16 feet in length.

Selection of proper Single Ladder size requires knowledge of the height of the top support point. In the event the top support point is a roof eave, the top of the Single Ladder must extend one to three feet above the roof eave if the climbers' intent is to access the roof. The ladder must also be tied to the upper access level before climbing on to or off the ladder at the upper level. The user must take care when getting on or off the ladder at the upper level in order to avoid tipping the ladder over sideways or causing the ladder base to slide out.

Proper Use

Unlike a stepladder that requires level support for all four of its side rails, the Single Ladder requires only two level ground support points in addition to a top support. Ladder levelers may be used to achieve equal rail support on uneven surfaces. The top support also allows the opportunity to secure or tie off the top of the ladder to increase stability.

In cases where the work site imposes a height restriction on the ladder length, the user may find that longer ladders are not capable of being set-up at the proper 75 1/2°angle. To safeguard against the bottom of the ladder sliding out, select a shorter Single Ladder.

There are also situations where the use of a particular ladder length creates a gap in the height of a wall that can be reached by the user. For example, a 14-foot Single Ladder cannot be used to work on a wall below a certain height because the user would be too far out from the wall. Usually, the lower portion of the wall can be reached from the ground up to a height of about 7 feet. When working from the 14-foot Single Ladder, working from the ladder below 10-feet becomes a problem. These conditions create a gap between 7 and 10-feet in height where another ladder selection is recommended. To work in this zone, a shorter non-self-supporting ladder such as a stepladder should be considered.

In order to prevent tipping the ladder over sideways due to over-reaching, the user must climb or work with the body near the middle of the rungs. Never attempt to move the ladder without first descending, relocating the ladder, and then re-climbing. Do not attempt to mount the ladder from the side or step from one ladder to another unless the ladder is secured against sideways motion.

In an effort to avoid losing your balance and falling off a Single Ladder, the user must not step or stand higher than the step indicated on the label marking the highest standing level.

Single Ladders should be erected at a pitch of 75 1/2°from the horizontal for optimum resistance against the bottom of the ladder sliding out, strength of the ladder, and balance of the climber. A simple rule for setting-up the ladder at the proper angle is to place the base a distance from the wall or upper support equal to one-quarter of the length of the ladder side rails.

When ascending or descending the ladder, always face the ladder and maintain a firm hold. Do not attempt to carry other objects in your hand(s) while climbing.

The anti-slip feet at the bottom of the Single Ladder side rails must be present and in good condition prior to using the ladder. The ladder must not be used on ice, snow or slippery surfaces unless suitable means to prevent slipping is employed.

A Single Ladder must never be placed upon other objects such as boxes, barrels, scaffolds, or other unstable bases in an effort to obtain additional height.

The top of a Single Ladder must be placed with the two side rails equally supported unless the ladder is equipped with a single-support attachment for situations such as a pole light standard, building corner or in-tree type operation such as pruning or fruit picking. When it is necessary to support the top of the ladder at a window opening, a device should be attached across the back of the ladder and extending across the window to provide firm support against the building walls or window frames.

Single Ladders must not be tied or fastened together to provide a longer length.

Proper Care

A thorough inspection must be made when the ladder is initially purchased and each time it is placed in to service. Clean the climbing and gripping surfaces if they have been subjected to oil, grease or slippery materials. Working parts, bolts, rivets, step-to-side rail connections, and the condition of the anti-slip feet (safety shoes) shall be checked. If structural damage, missing parts, or any other hazardous defect is found, the ladder must not be placed in to service and either discarded or competently repaired.

Ladders exposed to excessive heat, as in the case of fire, may have reduced strength. Similarly, ladders exposed to corrosive substances such as acids or alkali materials may experience chemical corrosion and a resulting reduction in strength. Remove these ladders from service.

Ladders with bent or broken side rails must be destroyed.

In the event a ladder is discarded, it must be destroyed in such a manner as to render it useless. Another person must not be afforded the opportunity to use a ladder that has been deemed unsafe.

When transporting ladders on vehicles equipped with ladder racks, the ladders must be properly supported. Overhang of the ladders beyond the support points of the rack should be minimized. The support points should be constructed of material such as wood or rubber-covered pipe to minimize the effects of vibration, chafing and road shock. Securing the ladder to each support point will greatly reduce the damaging effects of road shock.

Storage racks for ladders not in use should have sufficient supporting points to avoid sagging which can result in warping the ladder. Other materials must not be placed on the ladder while it is in storage.

Single Ladder Safety Standards

Safety requirements for Construction, Performance, Use and Care of Single Ladders can be found in the following standards:
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