Ladders, used properly, can be a safe and convenient tool. When used improperly, however, they can lead to a serious injury or result in a fatality.
- Climb a ladder by holding on to the rails and not the steps.
- Climb facing the ladder with your body centered between the rails.
- Use three points of contact, with at least three extremities attached to the ladder at all times.
- Do not twist your body while climbing.
- Do not climb with hands full of gear.
- Put any materials you need to take up a ladder into a tool bag/belt that you wear on your person.
- Use hand lines, hoists, or manlifts to lift and lower heavy objects.
- Fall protection must be worn based on the hazard assessment if you are working on scaffolding or on the roof of the building.
- Footwear with good support, non-slip soles, and free of mud, oil, and any other slippery debris is required when working on a ladder.
- Safety glasses or hardhats may be required for overhead work.
- Never stand on the top two steps.
- Fully open step ladders. Never use a stepladder in a partially-closed position.
- Ladders must have a spreader or locking device. Open and lock cross spreaders.
- Stepladders must not exceed 20 feet in height.
- Do not use ladders as a work platform.
- Keep the area around the bottom and top of the ladder free of debris.
- Allow only one person on a ladder at a time.
- Do not move or extend the ladder while occupied (i.e., no ladder jumping).
- Check the ladder for damage and defects before use. If damaged or defective, immediately remove the ladder from service and get rid of it.
- Get help when moving large ladders or working on uneven terrain.