Ladder Safety

Ladder Safety

Injuries in the workplace because of ladder are commonplace. Falls from ladders can be as painful as a fall from a roof; about a third of all reported falls are falls from ladders. Many of the fall related injuries result from the improper use or the use of a defective ladder. Step/extension ladders are made to access/egress upper levels, not to be used as work platforms. There are specifically designed ladders for use as work platforms such as order pickers. These ladders are constructed with a small platform and guardrail. The following safe work rules should be observed when working with ladders.

laddersGuide for Discussion


  • Look for missing or loose cleats at the bottom.
  • Look for loose or missing screws, bolts or nails on job made ladders
  • Look for cracked, broken, split, dented or badly worn rungs, cleats or side rails.
  • Splinters on wood ladders.
  • Corrosion on metal ladders.

Ladder Use

  • Always use the right ladder for the right job.
  • Don’t set your ladder in a walkway or door opening.
  • Keep the area at the top and bottom of the ladder clear of tool cords, tools, material and garbage.
  • Always set the ladder on solid footing.
  • Use a twenty-five percent (4:1) angle on the slope of the ladder.
  • When using extension ladders, the three (3) top rungs must extend beyond the landing platform. (Or the top of an extension ladder must be 36” (3 feet) above the landing.
  • Don’t lean to the side when on a ladder or you may tip over.
  • Do not carry tools or materials on a ladder. Use both hands when climbing a ladder to grab onto the side rails. If it is necessary to move material or tools up a ladder, first climb up, then pull up the work with a hand line.
  • Only one person on a ladder at a time (unless the ladder is double cleated).
  • Always secure the top of the ladder to prevent it from sliding.
  • Never lean a step ladder; always fully open a step ladder.
  • Always face the ladder.

Additional Discussion Notes:

Always tie off the ladder. That way it stays where you put it.

Remember: When you are on a ladder, you can fall. If you can fall, you can get hurt. Use ladders safely.