Ladder Safety: People Are Often Too Complacent

When working at a height, even a few feet, safety precautions need to be taken. Most workers underestimate the seriousness of working at a height, especially if the height is only a few feet. But falling even 3-4 feet can cause broken bones and even concussions.

Safety Precautions

  • All work is planned.
  • All workers are competent.
  • The surface is secure and non-slip.
  • Install handrails if possible, or a strong rope or a chain.
  • Avoid working in poorly lit conditions.
  • Avoid working in poor weather, if outside, e.g. rain, wind.
  • Use properly secured ladders to reach surface.
  • If material needs to be lifted or lowered use proper hoisting techniques. Do not throw it down and do not climb while holding it.
  • Do not stand on fragile surfaces unless it has been properly reinforced.
  • The platform should be large enough to stand on without getting close to the edge.


  • Secure the ladder at the top so it will not slide sideways.
  • Someone should be at the foot of the ladder holding the ladder with both hands.
  • Use ladders that have rubber non-slip feet.
  • Do not use ladders on snow, ice, or other slippery surface.
  • The base of the ladder, from the wall, should be 1/4 of the height of the ladder. e.g. if the height is 8 feet, the ladder legs should be 2 feet from the wall.
  • Do not use near electrical wires.
  • Do not move a ladder when it is extended.
  • Do not use a ladder other than for its intended use, e.g. as a scaffold.
  • Do not carry objects while climbing a ladder.
  • Do not over reach on a ladder.

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