Use Ladders Safely

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that each

year more than 511,000 people are treated for cuts, bruises

and fractured bones from improper use of ladders. More

than 300 people a year die from ladder related injuries.

When choosing a ladder be certain the ladder is able to

carry the amount of weight that will be applied.

Inspect the ladder. Be sure the spreaders can be locked

when open and that there are safety feet on the ends.

Check for loose or bent rungs.

The ladder should be clean of grease, oil, mud, snow and

other slippery materials.

Carry a single or extension ladder parallel to the ground.

Hold the side rail in the middle of the ladder for balance.

Always carry a stepladder in the closed position.

The ground under the ladder should be level and firm. Do not

set the ladder up on a muddy surface.

Set the base of your ladder one foot away from the wall for

every four feet of ladder height.

Do not use bricks, boxes, etc. to raise the height of the


Keep all ladders and other tools at least ten feet from any

power lines.

Keep ladder off of window panes or sashes.

If using the ladder in an orchard, turn the ladder sideways,

and ease into the tree. Place a straight ladder so that if a

limb breaks, it will fall into the tree.

Never lean a ladder against a movable object.

Never use a stepladder as a straight ladder.

Face the ladder when you climb up or down. Hold on to the

side rails with both hands. Carry only necessary tools on a

belt, use a rope to raise heavier equipment.

Never overreach. Always keep your body centered between the


Wear shoes with nonskid soles. Don’t wear leather-soled

shoes; they can be slippery. Shoelaces should be securely

tied. Make sure shoes and hands are clean and dry.

Don’t try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location

while standing on it. Climb down and reposition the ladder.

Never use a ladder in high wind.

Never use the top two rungs of a ladder.

On stepladders, never stand on the paint shelf, spreaders or

back section.

Never stand on the top rung of any ladder.

And finally, never, never leave a raised ladder unattended.

For more information on ladder safety visit:

Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney

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