Safe & Sound

Ladder Safety: Selecting the correct ladder for the job

There are many different kinds of ladders, ranging from simple a simple step ladder to large specialty ladders used for specific jobs. Ladders may be made of aluminum or fiberglass. There are three main categories of ladders:

  1. Extension
  2. Step or multipurpose
  3. Fixed

Keep the following in mind when choosing the right ladder for your job:

  • For indoor use, stepladders or multipurpose ladders are usually recommended. For outdoor work, taller stepladders, multipurpose or extension ladders are generally more appropriate. Tall structures will often have fixed ladders attached to the structure.
  • Never use aluminum ladders when working around electricity. Chose a ladder made out of non-conductive material, such as fiberglass, for electrical work, such as when working near overhead power lines.
  • Make sure that the ladder is the proper length to do the job safely. Chose a ladder that is designed for how you intend to use it. For example, do not use step ladders in a folded and leaned position in place of a straight ladder.
  • Chose a ladder that is capable of supporting your weight and the weight of any materials you will be using. See the chart below as a general guide.