Eshcol Safety & Health Consult Ltd
Steps to Ladder Safety


Ladder Safety

Ladders have been around for many years. Since ladders will remain a fixture is most walks of life, we must find ways to prevent ladder falls.

You might want to consider these steps to ladder safety:

  1. Select the Right Ladder for the Job
    1. Using an incorrect ladder for the job leads to many ladder-related injuries. Four factors come into play when selecting a ladder for a job.
    2. Determine the correct style of ladder. Never lean a stepladder against a wall and climb it like an extension ladder. Also, do not use a step ladder to access the roof of a home.
    3. Make sure the combined weight of the worker and his/her tools and materials do not exceed a ladder’s ANSI weight rating.
    4. Use the right material for the job. For example, always use a fiberglass ladder when working around live electric circuits.
    5. Use the right size of ladder. The ladder must be long enough to safety reach the task. A worker should never stand on the top run or top cap of a stepladder, or the three rungs of an extension ladder. Breaking this rule leads to many injuries every year.
  2. Inspect the Ladder
    1. Check the ladder for loose rungs, rivets, bolts and welds.
    2. Do not use a ladder that has broken or defective parts.
    3. Clean any foreign material, grease, paint or dirt from the ladder to ensure safe, stable footing.
  3. Safely Handle and Transport the Ladder
    1. Shoulder, neck and back injuries caused by carrying heavy traditional ladders are a common and costly occurrence.
    2. When carrying a large extension ladder, make sure it is well balance and the front is slightly raised.
  4. Set up the Ladder Safely
    1. Place the ladder on solid level ground that is free of debris.
    2. Avoid unsafe leveling techniques and always test the stability of the setup from the lower rungs before climbing higher.
  5. Check for Hazards
    1. Avoid hazards such as overhead power lines.
    2. Make sure the setup area is free of hazards such as lubricants or construction debris
    3. Never set up a ladder in front of a door.
  6. Get on the Roof the Right way
    1. Accessing an upper landing or roof can be tricky. Make sure the ladder is extended three feet above the roofline.
    2. Never climb up over the top rung. Instead, step carefully to the side onto the roof or landing.
  7. Remember Training
    1. Many incidents occur because one of the previous guidelines is ignored.
    2. Remember to stay vigilant and focused while using a ladder.
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