United States [Change]

Regarding General Ladder Safety

A ladder is a tool like any other. If it is used properly and according to safety guidelines, it will give many years of trouble-free service. However, if proper cautions are not taken, a ladder can be involved in an accident. Please read and follow all instructions and labels accompanying each ladder.

Two factors that deserve particular attention are proper ladder selection and electrical shock precautions:

  • Pay close attention to the Duty Rating of the ladder and the combined weight of the user and materials. Select a ladder with the proper capacity. Also, be sure to select a ladder of proper height to reach the work area without overextending.
  • Be aware of wires, electrical devices and live electrical circuits. Metal ladders conduct electricity and can create a danger of electrocution. Failure to read and follow instructions regarding electrical safety could result in serious personal injury or death.

Inspection Before Each Use

  1. Inspect upon receipt and before each use. Never climb a damaged, bent or broken ladder: all working parts must be in good working order.
  2. Make sure all rivets and joints, nuts and bolts are tight; feet, steps and rungs are secure; spreaders and pail shelf function properly (on step ladders); and rung locks, rope and pulley are in good condition (on extension ladders).
  3. Keep ladder clean, free from grease, oil, mud, snow, wet paint and other slippery material. Keep your shoes clean.
  4. Never make repairs of damaged or missing parts.
  5. Destroy ladder if damaged, worn or if exposed to fire or chemical corrosion.

General Precautions Before Each Use

  1. Read the instructions printed on the ladder and follow them. Ladders are designed for one person. Exceptions are Twin Stepladders, which may be used by two people, one on each side. Duty Ratings still apply for each side and should be carefully observed.
  2. Never leave a ladder set up and unattended. Special care should be taken to keep children away from all ladders.
  3. Always keep ladder clean of all foreign materials. Destroy if exposed to excessive heat or any corrosive agent.
  4. You should never use a ladder if you are not in good physical condition.
  5. Windy conditions require extra caution.
  6. Stay focused on safety whenever you are on the ladder and keep your belt buckle between the side rails.

Proper Care and Storage of Ladders

  1. Store ladders in a safe, dry place.
  2. Hang ladders on racks, at intervals of 6 feet for support.
  3. Properly secure and support ladders while in transit.
  4. Keep ladders clean and free of foreign materials.
  5. Never store materials on ladders.

Stepladders — Proper Set Up

  1. DANGER! Metal Conducts Electricity! Be Careful! Do not let ladders of any material come in contact with live electrical wires.
  2. Always fully open ladder and lock spreaders before climbing.
  3. Place on firm level surface with a secure footing. Do not use on slippery surfaces. Do not attach anything to or place anything under ladder to gain additional height. Do not place in front of door opening toward ladder.

Proper Climbing and Use

  1. Face ladder when climbing up or down; keep body centered between side rails.
  2. Always face ladder and maintain a firm grip while on it.
  3. Never climb a ladder from the side or climb from one ladder to another unless ladder is secured against sideways movement.
  4. Do not over reach; move ladder when needed.
  5. Do not "walk" or "jog" ladder when standing on it.
  6. Do not stand, climb or sit on ladder top, pail shelf, braces, or back section.
  7. Do not overload. Do not exceed duty rating of ladder. Do not use as a brace, platform or plank.
  8. Keep ladder close to work; avoid pushing or pulling off to the side of ladders.

Extension Ladders — Proper Set Up

  1. DANGER! Metal Conducts Electricty! Be Careful! Use care when using near power lines and electrical circuits.
  2. Secure base when raising extension and never set up ladder when it is extended.
  3. Set ladder at proper angle by placing your toes against the bottom of the ladder. Stand erect. Extend your arms straight out. When palms of your hands contact the top of the rung, which is about shoulder level, ladder is at approximately the proper angle (Check with other labels.) Use only at proper angle.
  4. Set ladder on firm ground. Do not lean sideways. Do not use on ice or snow or slippery surface without non-skid device or securing feet.
  5. Erect ladder with minimum 1 ft. extending above roof line or 3 ft. above roof line when accessing roof.
  6. Extend top section only from ground, never by "bouncing" or from the roof.
  7. Do not overextend — maintain maximum required overlap of sections as follows:
         Ladder size up to and including 32 ft. — 3 ft. overlap
         Ladder size over 32 ft. up to and including 36 ft. — 4 ft. overlap
         Ladder size over 36 ft. up to and including 48 ft. — 5 ft. overlap
         Ladder size over 48 ft. — 6 ft. overlap
  8. Place on a firm surface and a secure footing. Do not use on slippery surfaces. Never attach anything to or place anything under a ladder to gain height.
  9. Do not place in front of door opening toward ladder.
  10. Where possible, use second person to hold ladder.

Proper Climbing and Use

  1. Securely engage ladder rung locks before climbing. Check that top and bottom ends of ladder rails are firmly supported.
  2. Face ladder when climbing up or down; keep body centered between the rails.
  3. Maintain a firm grip. Use both hands in climbing.
  4. Never climb a ladder from the side or climb from one ladder to another unless ladder is secured against sideways motion.
  5. Do not stand higher than 3 ft. from the top of the ladder.
  6. Windy conditions require extra caution.
  7. Never use ladder as a platform, plank or hoist. Never use ladder on a scaffold.
  8. Do not overload. Ladders are meant for one person.
  9. Keep ladder close to work; avoid pushing or pulling off to the side of ladders.
  10. Never drop or apply an impact load to ladder.
  11. Do not "walk" or "shift" ladder when standing on it.

Additional Safety Information