Ladder Safety Fact Sheet

When using any ladder:

  • Inspect the ladder for missing or damaged parts before using
  • Follow all posted height and weight restrictions
  • Do not overreach
  • Keep steps dry and clean
  • Wear slip resistant shoes
  • Do not use ladder if you are not in good physical condition

When using a step ladder:

  • Set all four feet on firm level surface
  • Lock the Leg Spreader before climbing
  • Never stand on top step of ladder
  • Never use a closed step ladder as a straight ladder
  • Never use a ladder as a platform or brace
  • Do not place any heavy equipment on ladder
  • When possible have someone hold the ladder
  • When using the ladder outside, be aware of slippery surfaces, windy conditions or other weather related factors

When using a straight ladder:

  • Secure locks, fully apply hooks over rungs
  • Extend ladder approximately 3′ above the roof line for access – (far enough above the roof that a person can get back onto the ladder without extensive bending)
  • If getting off of the ladder, it must be secured – preferably done at the level where the exit will be made before the exit is made. Alternately it can be secured at the base, but that is a more difficult task; it is relatively easy to prevent slippage of the feet, but ensuring no angular movement of the ladder is much harder.
  • Place the feet of the ladder appropriately – one foot from the object for every four feet of height (approximately 75o). Increasing the angle (i.e., closer to the object) increases the possibility that the ladder will tip backwards and decreasing the angle (i.e., farther away from the object) increases the possibility that the feet will slip and the ladder will fall down).

General Cautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and general conditions
  • Limit major work to after operating hours or until an area can be closed or secured
  • Never use an aluminum ladder when working with or around electricity