Safety Tips to Prevent Ladder Injuries
Each year there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries in the U.S. relating to ladders. The Albertson Fire Department offers the following safety precautions to help prevent these injuries.
- Make sure the weight your ladder is supporting does not exceed its maximum load rating (user plus materials). There should only be one person on the ladder at one time.
- Use a ladder that is the proper length for the job. Proper length is a minimum of 3 feet extending over the roofline or working surface. The three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder should not be stood on.
- Straight, single or extension ladders should be set up at about a 75-degree angle.
- All metal ladders should have slip-resistant feet.
- Metal ladders will conduct electricity. Do not let a ladder made from any material contact live electric wires.
- Be sure all locks on extension ladders are properly engaged.
- The ground under the ladder should be level and firm. Large flat wooden boards braced under the ladder can level a ladder on uneven or soft ground. A good practice is to have a helper hold the bottom of the ladder.
- Do not place a ladder in front of a door that is not locked, blocked or guarded.
- Keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times. Do not lean too far to the side while working.
- Do not use a ladder for any purpose other than that for which it was intended.
- Do not step on the top step, bucket shelf or attempt to climb or stand on the rear section of a stepladder.
- Never leave a raised ladder unattended.
- Follow use instruction labels on ladders.