Safe & Sound

Ladder Safety: Do’s and Don’ts

If you are new to working with ladders or if you have worked with them for years, please follow the do’s and don’ts of ladder safety.

DO use the right ladder for the job. Ladder classification and capacity should be clearly labeled on the side rung of the ladder.

DON’T use step ladders in place of extension ladder or stand above highest “safe standing level” prescribed by the ladder’s manufacturer.

DO look overhead before placing a ladder, with special attention to power lines and other electrical hazards.

DON’T use ladders less than 10 feet away from electrical lines and assume the area above the ladder is clear of hazards.

DO set up the ladder on the ground, floor or other level, stable surface and make sure it’s properly footed and secure before climbing.

DON’T use ladders on uneven ground.

DO take your time climbing and always use the three-point contact system when working.

DON’T hurry up a ladder or overreach beyond the side sills. Keep your hips inside the rails.

DO face the ladder while ascending and descending.

DON’T turn your back to the ladder at any time.

DO use a belt designed for ladder work to carry tools or use a bucket to lift objects to the work area.

DON’T carry heavy objects or tools up the ladder or carry tools in hand.

DO use a barricade to keep traffic or activity away from the ladder.

DON’T leave the ladder unattended.

For more information and tools on ladder safety, download the NIOSH Ladder Safety app on your smart device. For Apple devices click here. For Android devices click here.