For Contractors, OSHA-rated Heavy-duty Aluminum Ladder Products Are A Must
Aluminum ladders come in all shapes and sizes, from standard units used around the house to professional-grade, heavy-duty aluminum ladder units. But no matter the size and form they take, it’s a good idea for contractors to choose OSHA-rated aluminum ladders and check the product’s duty rating before purchasing one.
The duty rating specifies the maximum amount of weight that a ladder can safely carry. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) lists these five categories:
- Type III – These are ladders with a maximum weight capacity of 200 lbs. Type III ladders are typically the basic units used around the house. They are best for jobs that do not require the user to carry anything up and down the ladder.
- Type II – Also known as medium-duty ladders, these are also appropriate for home use such as when hanging Christmas lights. Tradesmen and farmers can also use these ladders for basic jobs. Medium-duty ladders can carry up to 225 lbs.
- Type I – These ladders can carry up to 250 lbs. Also called heavy-duty ladders, these are often used in commercial applications or for any user looking to carry lightweight items up and down the ladder. These ladders come in multiple forms, including multi-purpose ladders, stepladders, and some attic ladders.
- Type IA – These ladders have a maximum capacity of 300 lbs. These are usually meant for industrial use. Ladders with this type of rating allow the user to carry heavy items up and down the ladder. If you are an architect, contractor, or working in construction, a heavy-duty aluminum ladder with this ANSI rating is the one you’ll likely choose.
- Type IAA – These are ladders for special duty or high-impact industrial or professional use wherein the user is looking to carry extremely heavy items up and down the ladder. These can accommodate up to 375 lbs.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls from portable ladders such as straight, combination, and extension ladders are one of the leading causes of workplace-related injuries and fatalities. As such, architects and contractors who want to ensure the utmost safety when designing and building commercial buildings should always choose OSHA-approved heavy-duty aluminum ladder products with the appropriate duty rating.
Ladder-related accidents usually end in falls and painful injuries. Never assume that the length of the ladder or some other characteristic corresponds with the ladder’s duty rating. Also, don’t take a ladder’s recommended use at face value. While a Type I ladder is good for basic use, if the weight it regularly carries is beyond 250 lbs. the ladder could eventually break.
If you’re an architect or contractor, be sure to carefully consider the type of heavy-duty aluminum ladder you need, with safety and efficiency in mind. Remember, the more the ladder will support, the more expensive it will be, but it will also be safer. Also, take advantage of training courses that our aluminum ladder company provides.
Here at Alaco Ladder Company, we have the course Reaching the Roof: Specifying Fixed Access Aluminum Ladders for Safety and Efficiency. In this course, we discuss the different types of fixed access ladders, safety codes and standards, and the importance of having OSHA-certified heavy-duty, professionally-built aluminum ladders in commercial buildings. We also feature several case studies and examine ladder design, features, and materials required for safe fabrication and installation.
If you’re interested in our heavy-duty aluminum ladder products or want to learn more about our aluminum ladder company and the training courses we offer, feel free to browse our website or call us at (888) 310-7040 for questions and inquiries.