New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch

Using Ladders Safely

Ladders are everyday tools that we invariably take for granted.  Regardless of whether you use a step-ladder or an extension ladder around the home, you can avoid injury if you follow these safety tips.

  • Before use, check the ladder to ensure it is free of any slippery material on the rungs or steps.
  • Always ensure the ladder is placed on a firm, level surface.
  • Never attempt to climb a ladder if it is not stable.
  • When climbing, wear shoes with non-slip soles.
  • Never stand above the second step of a stepladder, or the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder.
  • Likewise, do not over-reach, or lean to one side while on it, as the risk of over-balancing is too great.
  • It is far safer to climb down and reposition the ladder closer to the work.
  • Ensure that the maximum load capacity of the ladder is never exceeded as the failure of structural members could occur.
  • If using an extension ladder have someone help you carry it and then hold it whilst you are climbing.
  • Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing.
  • Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing.
  • Haul materials with a line, rather than attempt to carry them up the ladder.
  • If practical, tie of the ladder at the top, prior to commencement of working.  

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