Ladder Safety How-To

By: Alison Fong

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s (Only use a ladder or stepladder)

· After you have inspected it

· In a safe environment free of clutter

· At a firm level base

· If you can lean at approximately 75 degrees from horizontal

· Where you can maintain 3 points of contact (hands or feet)

· Stay near the middle of the ladder

Don’ts (On a ladder or stepladder)

· Extend ladders while standing on rungs

· Overload it or carry loads on ladders

· Overreach

· Allow more than one person at one time

· Stand ladders on moveable objects or uneven ground

· Use the top two steps on either an extension ladder or a stepladder


Inspect ladders prior to each use and on a regular basis including, but not limited to the following:

  • End caps and feet are in place and in good condition with slip-resistant material.
  • Step connections are in good condition without bends or breaks.
  • Rungs are tight and in good condition- no bent or missing rungs.
  • Warning labels are present and legible.
  • Hardware is tight and secure.
  • Surfaces are free of grease, oil, rust, or corrosion.
  • Side rails are straight and free of cracks, bends, splits, or corrosion.

7 Steps to Extension Ladder Safety

  • Extend ladder 3’ above the surface
  • Tie off ladder at top
  • 3-point contact at all times
  • Don’t use if ladder has broken rungs
  • For every 4’ in height, put ladder 1’ back
  • Secure ladder at bottom
  • Never carry tools or materials on ladder
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