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How to choose a ladder

height
Know the Difference
Some workers might not realize the differences from one ladder to the next. Having the right ladder for the job is the safest way to complete any task. Using the wrong ladder is extremely dangerous as it often leads to ladder misuse or abuse and can result in serious injury or even death. To get an idea of some of the different ways that ladders are used, just think about all of the tasks you and the other professionals do. Most of them require the use of ladders of different styles, sizes, duty ratings, and materials.
Some of the questions that may help you understand your needs include:
  • Where will the ladder be used? Indoors or outdoors or both?
  • What projects or jobs will the ladder be used for?
  • Is there a possibility of working around electricity or overhead power lines?
  • How much weight will be on the ladder including tools and materials?
  • What obstacles might be in the way?
  • Will the ladder also be used to reach other heights?
  • What is the highest height you need to reach?

Ladder Finder

Our goals are very simple: We want to help you better understand how to choose the right ladder for the job and learn how to use ladders more safely. The four key elements of ladder selection are:

Step 1: Select Style - Which Kind Of Ladder Is Right For The Job?

height
The highest permitted standing level on a stepladder is two steps down from the top. A person standing higher may lose their balance and fall. A person’s maximum safe reaching height is approximately 4' higher than the height of the ladder.

Step 2: Select Height - How High Do You Need To Reach?

style
The first step in ladder selection is choosing the right style of ladder for the job. Different styles of ladders are designed to keep you safe and productive when climbing or standing. Using the wrong style of ladder or simply ignoring the limitations of climbing equipment, can result in a fall or serious injury.

Step 3: Select Performance / Duty Rating - How Much Weight Will Be On The Ladder?

performance
Ladders are designed and constructed to safely hold up to a specific amount of weight. Werner ladders come in five different Duty Ratings identified by their grade and type. The Duty Rating is defined as the maximum safe load capacity of the ladder. A person's fully clothed weight plus the weight of any tools and materials that are carried onto the ladder must be less than the duty rating.

Step 4: Select Material - Will The Ladder Be Used Near Or Around Electricity?

fiberglass
The final step in selecting the right ladder is the choice of the proper material. Werner offers ladders made from fiberglass and aluminum. Each material has characteristics which make it best for certain applications, or one material may simply fit the personal preferences of the user. For example, potential contact with electrical wires, or a hostile environment such as exposure to certain chemicals or outdoor storage, should have a major impact upon the material selection.