Ladders are common tools that can be helpful in many types of jobs. Serious injuries can result when a ladder is used improperly, in an unsafe area, or if it is faulty and has not been properly maintained. It is important to know how to select and inspect a ladder; the rules for safe ladder setup and use; and how to correctly transport, maintain, and store ladders. Never us a ladder if your physical or mental condition has potential to create a hazard.

In some situations, an alternative solution may be better than using a ladder.  Some examples of an alternate solution are manlifts, schissorlifts, forklifts, or an elevated work platform with railings may be better than using a ladder.

If you believe a ladder is unsafe, dod not use it. Report the problem so that the ladder will be tagged, removed from service, and replaced or repaired.  ensure that each ladder you use is rated to support the weight of you, your tools, and any materials that will be used.

Before placement, clear the area around the base of the ladder.  The feet of the ladder should have slip-resistant safety footing for use on a ground surface that is level and solid. If the ground is too soft, a solid and sufficiently wide support should be placed under each leg to provide stability. Set up a ladder only on a surface that is level and capable of supporting the weight. Do NOT set up a ladder on scaffolds, boxes, or any other object.

Protect ladders near doorways, walkways, or vehicle traffic areas by locking doors, posting signs, setting up barricades, or roping off the area. Use a tool belt to carry any tools.

  • Do not try to “walk” a ladder by jerking or rocking while you are on it.
  • Do not move, shift, “hop the ladder”, or extend the ladder while in use.
  • Do not tie or fasten together ladders to create onger sections unless they are specifically designated for such use.
  • Do not use ladders as platforms, runways, or scaffolds.  Use the ladder, not the walls to reach a higher level.
  • never jump off a ladder.

Unless the ladder is designed to hold more than one person, only one person should be on the ladder at any one time.  Step on each of the rungs-never skip the last rung and jump down.  If a ladder is unstable when you start to climb it, climb down and correct the problem.  Take care to maintain three points of contact when climbing and descending the ladder.

With every activity comes a certain amount of risk.  Your actions are what determines how high that risk is. Keep up the good work!