Ladder Safety
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Ladder Safety

These accidents can be avoided. The fact is, a ladder is one of the simplest most easy-to-use tools in our industry. David Baker of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia states, "although ladders are very uncomplicated, planning and care are still required to use them safely. Each year in the U.S., accidents involving ladders cause an estimated 300 deaths and 130,000 injuries requiring emergency medical attention."

Roof HazardsHere at CADO we have sseveralgreat forum threads on ladder safety. In the threads members share their experiences and provide safety tips. The following threads are suggested reading and we invite all visitors to share their experiences and tips in a effort to prevent ladder accidents.

Here are some safety tips from the National Safety Council.

  1. Place ladder feet firmly and evenly on the ground or floor. Make sure the ladder is sitting straight and secure before climbing it. If one foot sits in a low spot, build up the surface with firm material.
  2. Do not try to make a ladder reach farther by setting it on boxes, barrels, bricks, blocks or other unstable bases.
  3. Do not allow ladders to lean sideways. Level them before using.
  4. Brace the foot of the ladder with stakes or place stout boards against the feet if there is any danger of slipping.
  5. Never set up or use a ladder in a high wind, especially a lightweight metal or fiberglass type. Wait until the air is calm enough to insure safety.
  6. Never set up a ladder in front of a door unless the door is locked or a guard is posted.
  7. Do not use ladders on ice or snow unless absolutely necessary. If they must be used on ice or snow, use spike or spur-type safety shoes on the ladder feet and be sure they are gripping properly before climbing.
  8. Use Safety shoes on ladder feet whenever there is any possibility of slipping.



Length of Ladder Required Overlap
Up to 36 feet 3 feet
Over 36 to 48 4 feet
Over 48 to 60 feet 5 feet

Also remember that the sections of an extension ladder should overlap enough to retain the strength of the ladder.


Ladder Safety Links  
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.26 - Portable Metal Ladders  
5 Rules of Ladder Safety
Portable Ladder Safety
Ladder Safety Alert


  1. National Safety Council, Job Made Ladders, Data Sheet No. 1-568-76, 1976.
  2. National Safety Council, Accident Prevention Manual for Industrial Operations, Ninth Edition, 1988
  3. David E. Baker and Rusty Lee, Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia
  4. OSHA Informational Booklet 3124, 1997 (revised)
  5. OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.26 - Portable Metal Ladders
  6. Department of Trade & Industry
  7. National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH)
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  9. - Forum Topics

Article last updated 11/19/2009


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