Portable Ladder Safety

Here’s some important information on portable ladder safety.

All ladders should be set on a firm and level footing surfaces. It may be required at times to level out some dirt or even shovel some snow to have firm and level footing for a ladder.

You should avoid setting up a ladder in high traffic areas, doorways, and especially behind closed doors. If you should have to do this, you may want to consider having someone on the ground as a lookout, use barricades, or even signage to warn others to use caution due to a “Ladder In Use”.

As with all things we use in construction, ladders must be inspected at the beginning of each shift. Failure to do so may result in an injury or accident. If a ladder is found to be defective, it must be taken out of service and guarded from a worker accidentally using it. TAG IT OUT!!

Never store a folding ladder by leaning it against a wall for use. The feet are not designed for this use and you will notice that only the points of the feet make contact with the ground.

It is not recommended to use any metal ladders on a job site. You may find this type of ladder used to access roofs. This is typical for high elevations. A fiberglass extension ladder is cumbersome and weighs a lot. But still, they must be set up in a way to prevent them from being energized or from coming in contact with an energized source. Another thing to remember is that if you bring a metal ladder to a worksite and an unauthorized person uses it and makes contact with an energy source, you may be held liable.

Extension ladders should be set up at a 4:1 ratio and when using it to get to another working surface it must be 3 rungs or 36” at a minimum above that surface. The top of the extension ladder must be secured to prevent it from being displaced.

Disclaimer: The information and suggestions contained in these safety talks are believed to be reliable. However, the authors of the topics and the owners of this web site accept no legal responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of such information or suggestions contained within these topics. These guidelines do not supercede local, state, or federal regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any OSHA regulations.