Portable Ladder Safety

Falls from ladders is one of the most common hazards in the workplace and, particularly, in the construction industry. Portable ladders are one of the least stable tools used for working at heights. OSHA has specific requirements for the use of ladders. Employees must be trained to comply with these regulations and work safely on ladders.

  1. Fall Injury Protection:
  • Inspect the ladder before use.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load.
  • Do not move a ladder if equipment or a person is on it.
  • Always set ladders up at the proper angle. The base must be placed a quarter of the working length from the wall.
  • Before use, read and understand all operation directions.
  • Use ladders on clean and dirt-free surfaces.
  • Face the ladder when you are climbing or coming down from it. Use at least one hand to hold it.
  • Report if the ladder is unsafe to use. It must be free of oil, dirt, and mud.
  • Do not paint the ladder.
  • Do not use defective ladders with missing cleats, rungs, cracked or missing side rails.
  • If you use an extension ladder it must overlap a minimum of 3 rungs.
  • Only one person may use a ladder at a given time.
  • Maintain 3 points of contact to use ladder and handrail (foot + 2 hands).
  • Do not use a self-supporting ladder.
  • Do not use the top step of the ladder as a step unless it has been made to be used as step.
  • Do not place a ladder on top of any unstable bases to add height to the ladder.
  • Employees should be fully trained on ladder safety and maintenance before working on ladders.