Three Point Ladder Technique

Ladders come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. They are very useful at many workplaces, and many workers use them each day. However, improper use of ladders can cause many serious injuries to those who use them at their routine job. Maintaining three points of contact (or three point technique) when using a ladder can help to reduce the risk of falling or slipping. The three point rule is as follows: Always have one hand and two feet or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder at all times. Choosing the right ladder for the job, reading manufacturer instructions, maintaining a stable setup, and following the three point rule will limit or reduce the hazards associated with ladders. The OSHA guidelines for the safe use of ladders are as follows: Use common sense when working on or near ladders (i.e. don’t use the top step); Mark defective ladders clearly with a tag that says “Do Not Use Until Fixed;” Maintain and inspect all ladders before use for grease/oil/dirt/etc.; Consider ladders as just another piece of equipment that has limitations and must be checked regularly; and Ensure that all employees understand the risks associated with ladders, as unsafe practices can cause serious accidents. All employees must be trained for the safe use of ladders according to OSHA requirements.

  1. Ladder Safety:
  • Always consider the manufacturer’s rated load capacity.
  • Last step should never be used.
  • Do not tie multiple ladders together to create longer sections.
  • Only use ladders on stable surfaces.
  • Do not block exits, doors, or paths.
  • Secure ladders at the bottom and top when in use.
  • Set up a 4:1 angle between the base of the ladder and the top.
  • If you must work with one hand you must hold the ladder with the other.
  • Do not skip rungs/steps when climbing.
  • Inspect the ladder carefully before use.
  • Do not use a ladder if you are sleep, sick, or taking medication.
  • Do not use ladders in high traffic areas.
  • Always consider weather conditions before using ladders outside.
  • Make sure hands, shoes, and ladder rungs are dry to prevent slipping.
  • Do not store materials on a ladder.
  • Do not carry materials up and down a ladder – Always ask for help.
  • Do not jump from the ladder.
  • Wear slip resistant footwear.
  • Always follow the three-point rule when working on ladders.