Ladder Usage

Both single and extension ladders should be equipped with nonskid safety feet and should be placed on a firm, level surface.  The distance from the ladder’s base to the wall should equal one-fourth the distance from the base to the point of support.

  • Never set ladders on boxes or other objects to make the ladder reach higher areas.
  • Lock or barricade any doors that may open toward ladders.
  • Approximately three feet of a straight ladder should extend above the topmost spot to be reached.
  • Never stand above the third rung from the top of a straight ladder or above the second highest step of a stepladder.
  • Never use stepladders as straight ladders.  Open stepladders fully and make sure that the spreader is locked securely.
  • Only one person should be on a ladder at a time and should always face the ladder when going up or down.
  • While on a straight ladder, hold on with one hand and don’t overreach.  It’s safer to climb down and move the ladder.  Use a safety belt if both hands have to be occupied.
  • If you use a metal ladder, make sure that it-or you-doesn’t come into contact with electric wires or equipment.
  • Never carry large objects while ascending or descending a ladder.  To carry tools and accessories,  use shoulder straps, bags, or hand lines.
  • Inspect all ladders at regular intervals.
  • Defective ladders should be tagged “dangerous-do not use,” and removed from service without delay.
  • Ladder steps and rungs should be kept free from oil and other foreign matter.
  • Ladders should not be painted because paint may conceal defects.
  • When not in use, ladders should be kept on racks having sufficient supporting points to prevent sagging.