We have all worked on or around ladders at some time in our lives, either at work, at home, or both.
The following tips are intended to make your interaction with ladders less hazardous:
Inspect it. Before using a ladder, inspect it for faults such as broken rungs or rails. If it is an extension ladder, inspect the pulleys, ropes, and locks for excessive wear. Also, check the footings and pads to make sure they still provide a non-skid surface. If any defect is found, the ladder should be tagged unsafe and taken out of service. If it cannot be fixed, make sure it is disposed of properly.
Set it up on solid footing. When setting up a ladder, make sure the ground it is set upon is level and stable. Do not set the ladder on a muddy surface that may cause it to slip. Do not use bricks or other material to raise the height of the ladder because that will also make it unstable. If the working surface is not level, use an extension ladder that has adjustable feet attached to each leg to make up for the difference.
Choose the right equipment. The ladder should reach a minimum of three feet above the “point of support” and should be secured at this point. If it is not tall enough for this, you are using the wrong ladder.
Use the ladder correctly. Always face the ladder when ascending or descending and have both hands free to grasp it securely. If you need tools, they should be carried in a tool belt or pulled up with a rope once you have reached your destination. Don’t use a folded stepladder as a straight ladder.
3-point rule. Remember to use the “3-Point Rule” when climbing a ladder. At least two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, should be in contact with the ladder at all times.
Stay centered. Keep your body between the vertical side rails of the ladder. This reduces the chance of tipping over the ladder or, even worse, falling off of it.
- Don’t over climb the ladder. Do not climb higher than the third rung from the top on straight or extension ladders or higher than the second tread from the top on stepladders.
Safety…one habit you NEVER need to break!!
Download flyer: SMOTW-Ladder Safety.pdf (142.63 kb)