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How to use Platform ladder Systems

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Here at Birmingham Scaffolding, the home of the number 1 scaffold company in Solihull, we use the self-supporting portable platform ladder on many construction projects within the Birmingham and West Midlands area.

The ladder is provided with a platform, which is designed to hold the scaffolder at the highest standard level. It has a hinged design for ease for storage and is also intended to be used by one person, meaning it could be erected very easily.

The top platform is then surrounded on three sides along the guardrail that can be at least 20 inches higher than the platform surface. Platform Ladders ranges in sizes from 2ft to 18ft in length as measured from the bottom along the side rail to the top of the platform.

However, the maximum work height is established by adding the scaffolders height while using it.

Scaffolding Mobile Tower and platform ladder for stairway

Using a Platform Ladder

Platform Ladders on Birmingham, West Midlands sites require a level of ground support for all of its side rails, if the construction work site does not include this condition, a platform ladder should not be selected for the job.

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 steps or platform.  

The ladder should be set-up close to the work.  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.

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The Braces on the rear of a platform ladder are not intended for climbing or standing on, as it defeats the purpose of health and safety within the Birmingham construction industry.

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Take Care of the Platform Ladder

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.

They can be exposed to excessive heat, so in case of a FIRE, you may be reduced in strength. Just like many other ladders, when exposed to flammable substances such as acids or other materials, the ladder may experience a chemical corrosion resulting in a decline of strength.

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The Safety Standards

In the event of a ladder being discarded, it must be destroyed in such a manner as to render useless. However, it must not be afforded the opportunity to use the 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.

Ladders that are not in use should have a sufficient point to avoid sagging, which can result in warping the ladder. The other materials on the ladder must not be placed while the platform is being used for storage racks and scaffolders currently working on the construction site in Birmingham, West Midlands or Solihull.

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