Ladder Safety In Five Easy Steps

Over half of all ladder accidents happen because the ladder's placement is unsafe. To reduce the risk of accidents and injuries when using a ladder, it is critical to ensure that it is placed in a manner that will keep it secure through the entire work process. Use these techniques to keep your ladder stable:

  1. Make sure your ladder is at the correct angle - for every 4 feet of the ladder’s working length, place it 1 foot away from the surface where it’s resting.
  2. Place ladders on a firm, level, non-slip surface and never place a ladder on top of objects such as boxes or other movable objects.
  3. Secure straight or extension ladders to an upper support to keep the top area stable - do not place a ladder against a gutter, window sash, or anything that can move.
  4. Be sure the ladder’s surrounding area and supports (top and bottom) are free of debris, mud and/or grease.
  5. If setting the ladder on a smooth floor, use a ladder with safety feet. If the top of the ladder is leaning on a smooth surface, use wall grips on the risers to prevent slipping.

For more information on ladder safety, visit OSHA’s ladder safety page at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/construction/falls/4ladders.html.