A good foundation for a proper ladder setup will help prevent slips and falls. Place the base on a firm, solid surface. Avoid slippery, wet, or soft surfaces. If you must put the ladder on a soft surface, place a board under the ladder’s feet to provide a firm footing. Make sure the top of the ladder has firm support as well. Never lean a ladder against a windowpane or other unstable surface. If you’re using a straight or extension ladder, the angle of the ladder is the next critical safety factor. A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height. For example, if the ladder is 4 feet high, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the support surface.
If you’re using a step ladder, be sure to open it completely before you climb. If you have to use a step ladder near a doorway, lock or barricade the door and post signs so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder.
Climb with care, always face the ladder, and grip the rungs of the ladder, not the side rails. Never get on or off a ladder from the side unless it has been secured to prevent movement. Never climb with equipment in your hands. Use your pocket, equipment belt, or a tool pouch, and raise heavy objects with a hand line. If you forget something, always climb down the ladder to retrieve it yourself; don’t have someone toss it up to you. Never ask someone to climb up your ladder to give you supplies. It is dangerous to exceed the weight limits that a specific ladder can handle. When you descend a ladder, practice the same safety rules. Face the ladder, keep your body square and hold on to the rungs. Lastly, step off at the bottom rung of the ladder. Never jump off of a ladder.
Learn more about ladder safety from the CDC, and download the NIOSH ladder safety app here.
Do’s and Don’ts of Ladder Safety
Additionally, USAFP can help you be prepared with our fire and life safety systems. If you would like to install a new system or need maintenance on an existing system, reach out to our main office team at 847-816-0050. For projects located in Wisconsin, please call 262-782-3311. Additionally, to learn more about our all-inclusive fire protection solutions and our commitment to keeping you protected, click here.