Ladder Safety At Work, Pt. 2

Ladder safety begins with both the boss and the worker. Hear tips on how they can increase safety on freestanding and self-supporting ladders.

Ladder safety rules are important for companies to establish and post. They should provide properly maintained ladders made from material appropriate for the job.

Workers should inspect a ladder before each use. They must know how to properly use a ladder, including leveling, placing it at the correct angle and staying centered.

In this podcast, Dan Clark offers more ladder safety tips in a follow-up to his previous podcast, Ladder Safety At Work.


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Dan Clark: Everyone thinks they know how to use a ladder, but one misstep can lead to a serious accident. Today we have a second helping of tips in Ladder Safety At Work, Pt. 2

Hi, I’m Dan Clark with The Safety Brief. We take on health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at with coupon code BIG10.


This may seem a little obvious but have rules about what people can do on ladders and what jobs they can perform. For example, don’t carry heavy items; don’t paint high above your head. Some rules may seem like common sense but it’s worth making them clear in written form for the employees.


— Have rules about how to check a ladder before use. Look at the feet, rungs, joints, the material it’s made from, whether it’s fiberglass, aluminum or wood. If anything looks damaged, mark it for potential repair.

— Provide ladder alternatives whenever possible such as lifts, platforms, tools with extended handles so employees can reach farther from the ground.

— Make sure you have the right ladders at the job site — extension ladders versus stepladders — and the proper height so workers don’t have to reach up too far.


— Choose a safe location to place the ladder.

— Make sure it’s away from doorways, pedestrian traffic and uneven surfaces.

Wrong! Not centered.

— Now, if the surface is uneven (which is very typical) use an accepted ladder leveling accessory to brace the ladder’s feet. Don’t use bricks and scrap lumber. I’ve been guilty of that and it’s very unstable.

— Make sure you’re always centered on the ladder. Use your belt buckle as a reference. It should always be between the side rails.

— When you’re climbing up and climbing down, make sure it’s one person at a time to keep the ladder stable.

— Don’t sit on a step, especially the top one.

— Position extension ladders at an angle that’s not too steep or too wide. Now, here’s a handy trick for figuring out if a ladder is at the right angle. Stand with your toes at the foot of the ladder and then reach out with one of your arms. You should be able to touch the rungs; And finally,

— Make sure the souls of your shoes are clean and dry before climbing.

For more ladder safety tips try my earlier podcast, Ladder Safety At Work linked in the transcript of this podcast.

That’s all for this episode, Ladder Safety At Work, Pt. 2. Join me again for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s always-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at with coupon code BIG10.


Ladder safety publication from OSHA: here.

Ladder/people illustrations by Thom Cheney © ℗ 2016 Creative Safety Supply. Illustration is property of Creative Safety Supply, LLC, 7737 SW Cirrus Dr., Beaverton, Oregon 97008; Warehouse image courtesy of PEO ACWA.

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