TIP: Ladder Best Practices

Posted by Keren Warner on

Do's and Don'ts of Ladder Safety

The ladder is one of the more commonly used tools in and around Aerial Adventure courses.  It's also one of the most commonly misused tools.  You risk injury if portable ladders are not used safely and in compliance with best practices.

Below are some basic Do's and Don'ts of ladder safety.  For additional information you can search the OSHA website here:

  • Perform a visual check of the ladder to be sure that the ladder is not damaged in any way but is in good working condition.
  • Carry the ladder with the ladder feet forward.  This makes it easier to set up.
  • Always make sure the ladder is high enough for the job without having to stand on the top rung.
  • Make certain your extension ladders extends a minimum of 3 feet above your upper landing surface and that the extension ladder is positioned at a horizontal angle of approximately 75°.
  • Before you climb ensure that the ladder is fully locked when extended. 
  • The base of the ladder should be secure on a stable and level ground at all times.
  • While climbing always maintain three points of contact.  Best to climb with both hands on the side of the ladder and a foot on a rung.
  • Prop the ladder on rocks or scrap lumber.  If you need to level the feet it's best to dig a "pocket" out of the ground beneath the higher side of the ladder to allow the feet to sit on level ground.
  • Use a ladder if it is bent or missing a step.  A damaged ladder should be cut up and discarded.
  • Exceed the manufacturer's recommended weight limit for the ladder. 
  • Lean away when working on a ladder.  Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.
  • Use the ladder if the spreader bar locking mechanism is broken or damaged in any way.
  • Work on the top rung of the ladder.

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