What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Here are a few examples showing how ladders are commonly misused. Many injuries and fatalities occur every day while working from ladders at relatively low heights. Working at any height is dangerous if safe ladder practices are not followed.

  1. Never straddle the top of a step ladder or stand on the top two
    steps or levels, because the ladder will become top heavy and
  2. Never use a step ladder to access another elevation, because they
    are not designed for and are not stable for side entry and exit.
  3. Never lean a step ladder, because the feet are designed to provide
    stability only when fully opened and on a level surface.
  4. Where to start? Ladder on a lift, no fall protection from ladder,
    aluminum ladder close to electrical hazard, physical access to lift,
    access to controls, rusted out cover plates on ground, ladder angle
    too shallow, and the ladder could tip the scissor lift.

Before you set up a ladder for your next climb, take a few minutes to make a safe plan of action that considers the work to be done and ensures that you will complete your task safely. Be sure to inspect the ladder for damage, slippery surfaces, or materials before each use. Keep the area around the ladder clutter free, and use barricades to warn others of your work zone. Always maintain a 3 point contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) with the ladder and face the ladder when climbing.

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