General Ladder Safety - DY160121 - 06/19

General Ladder Safety

Setting up your ladder

  • Your ladder should be set up on a firm footing and secured against slippage
  • Straight ladders should be erected at an angle of approximately 76° (4:1) to the ground or 14° at the top
  • Step ladders need to be opened fully and ladder locks or braces engaged before climbing
  • Upper and lower sections of extension ladders should be overlapped to provide stability
  • Weight of the ladder should be placed squarely on the ladder feet and not on the rungs
  • Two or more people should be used to erect long or heavy ladders

Using your ladder

  • Three points of contact must be maintained at all times when climbing
  • Only one person should be on the ladder at any one time and the weight limit of ladder should not be exceeded
  • Do not carry tools in your hands while climbing
  • Hold onto rungs rather than side rails for more safety if a foot slips
  • Wear appropriate footwear
  • Work from within the ladder width, center of body (i.e. belt buckle) should not be further than the side rail. Do not overreach as overreaching can lead to the ladder tipping sideways
  • Face the ladder when going up or down or when working from it
  • Stand on a rung that is at least 900mm from the top of a single or extension ladder
  • Stand on or below the second tread below the top plate of any stepladder
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