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Weekly Toolbox Talk: Work on Falls - 3 Keys to Work Safe on Ladders

Grab a ladder. Stand it up and climb. So simple anyone can do it, right?

But if it really were all that simple, 130,000 people wouldn’t get hurt on ladders each year, would they?

Most ladder accidents are caused by improper selection, setup or use, not defects.


Be sure the ladder you select is strong enough to support your weight and any materials you need. Select a ladder that is going to reach your work area, in some cases you might need a taller ladder depending on the type of work.

  • Type IA ladders have a duty rating of 300 pounds.

  • Type I have a duty rating of 250 pounds

  • Type II have a duty rating of 225 pounds.

  • Type III are the most lightweight and have a duty rating of 200 pounds


  • Place ladder feet evenly on firm ground or a hard floor.

  • Make sure the ladder stands straight and stable.

  • When using a extension ladder the top of the ladder should extend three feet beyond a roof edge or stepping-off point, like a platform.

  • Brace the feet of the ladder where there is a chance of the feet slipping.


  • Always inspect ladders prior to its use.

  • Only company-approved ladders (four-foot ladders or personal ladders are not allowed).

  • Be sure the steps and rungs are free of grease, oil, wet paint, mud and paper.

  • Face the ladder when climbing.

  • Use a 3 point climb, two hands and one foot.

  • Climb first, then pull any materials up with a rope or let your partner hand it over to you.

  • Keep your feet in the center of the step or rung.

  • Do not walk the ladder or lean against the wall.

  • No straddling on the top.

  • Limited to standing on the third rung from top on step ladders.

  • Use the ladder only for its designed purpose.

  • Most importantly, do not overreach from the ladder or lean too far to one side.