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Back To Safety Programs
All Employees & Bosses Must Watch
this Ladder Accident Short
Never Forget This
Self-supporting (foldout) and
portable ladders must be able to
support at least four times the
maximum intended load, except
extra-heavy-duty metal or
plastic ladders, which must be
able to sustain 3.3 times the
maximum intended load. (See
which must lean against a wall
or other support, are to be
positioned at such an angle that
the horizontal distance from the
top support to the foot of the
ladder is about 1/4 the working
length of the ladder. (See
In the case of job-made wooden
ladders, that angle should equal
about 1/8 the working length.
This minimizes the strain of the
load on ladder joints that may
not be as strong as on
Ladder rungs, cleats, or steps
must be parallel, level, and
uniformly spaced when the ladder
is in position for use. Rungs
must be spaced between 10 and 14
For extension trestle ladders,
the spacing must be 8-18 inches
for the base, and 6-12 inches on
the extension section.
Rungs must be so shaped that an
employee's foot cannot slide
off, and must be skid-resistant.
(See Figure 3.)
Ladders are to be kept free of
oil, grease, wet paint, and
other slipping hazards.
Wood ladders must not be coated
with any opaque covering, except
identification or warning labels
on one face only of a side rail.
Foldout or stepladders must have
a metal spreader or locking
device to hold the front and
back sections in an open
position when in use. (See
When two or more ladders are
used to reach a work area, they
must be offset with a landing or
platform between the ladders.
The area around the top and
bottom of ladder must be kept
Ladders must not be tied or
fastened together to provide
longer sections, unless they are
specifically designed for such
(See Figure 5.)
Never use a ladder for any
purpose other than the one for
which it was designed.
"No" No "No" No
Tips to Prevent Ladder Injuries
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Each year there are more
than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries
in the U.S. relating to ladders. The U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
offers the following safety precautions to
help prevent these injuries.
- Make sure the
weight your ladder is supporting does
not exceed its maximum load rating (user
plus materials). There should only be
one person on the ladder at one time.
- Use a ladder
that is the proper length for the job.
Proper length is a minimum of 3 feet
extending over the roofline or working
surface. The three top rungs of a
straight, single or extension ladder
should not be stood on.
Straight, single or extension ladders
should be set up at about a 75-degree
All metal ladders should have
Metal ladders will conduct electricity.
Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder in the
vicinity of power lines or electrical
equipment. Do not let a ladder made from
any material contact live electric
- Be sure all
locks on extension ladders are properly
- The ground
under the ladder should be level and
firm. Large flat wooden boards braced
under the ladder can level a ladder on
uneven ground or soft ground. A good
practice is to have a helper hold the
bottom of the ladder.
- Do not place a
ladder in front of a door that is not
locked, blocked or guarded.
- Keep your body
centered between the rails of the ladder
at all times. Do not lean too far to the
side while working.
- Do not use a
ladder for any purpose other than that
for which it was intended.
- Do not step on
the top step, bucket shelf or attempt to
climb or stand on the rear section of a
- Never leave a
raised ladder unattended.
- Follow use
instruction labels on ladders.
a ladder long enough for any use you may have
Keep in mind that the length of a ladder is
its usable length.
The height these ladders can safely reach is
reduced by the angle at which the ladder must be
set up. (This will be explained later).
Erect a stepladder only on a flat level surface.
Before climbing a stepladder, make sure that its
legs are fully extended and the spreader locked.
The locking device on some ladders may present a
pinching hazard, so keep fingers clear when
setting up the ladder.
Never use a step ladder as a straight ladder.
Stepladders do not exceed 20 feet.
not step on the bucket shelf or attempt to climb
or stand on the rear section supports. They are
not designed to support the weight
of a person.
Only a two way ladder is designed for two
raise a ladder, brace the lower end against a
wall and then grasp the top rung with both
Raise the top end and walk underneath the
ladder, moving down the rungs until
the ladder is vertical.
|When using an extension
ladder, raise it to the desired height, being
sure the locks engage properly on both sides of
Extension ladders do not exceed
44 feet when extended.
Extension ladders are not used fully extended.
There is an overlap between sections, not less
than 10% of the working length of the ladder.
Ladders should be stored in a sheltered area.
Never leave a raised ladder unattended. It could
fall unexpectedly and injure someone.
Never use a damaged ladder.
Have repair work done only by a competent repair
If there is major damage, discard the ladder.
|Keep metal ladders away
from electrical wires.
Ladders should have nonconductive side rails if
they are used where the employee or the ladder
could contact exposed energized electrical
When using a ladder near power lines, use a
wooden or fiberglass ladder since metal ladders
not do this