How to Safely Use a Ladder

ladder against brick wall Ladders are common household tools that are a valuable part of any homeowner’s tool box. In fact, you can find a ladder stored in most garages or sheds across the country. While ladders can help homeowners cross off items on their to-do lists such as cleaning the gutters, ladders can present danger if not used properly. This is why every ladder comes standard with easy-to-read safety labels that help ladder operators use their ladders safely and effectively.

Standard Ladder Safety

Becuase ladders are tools, several of the common safety rules applied to other tools also apply to ladders. When using a ladder, remember the following tips to stay safe.

  • Do not get on a ladder if you are tired or dizzy.
  • Avoid using your ladder during high winds or storms.
  • Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles.
  • Set up ladders on stable, level ground.
  • Only one person should be on the ladder at a time.
  • The safety labels on a ladder are specific to that ladder and should be reviewed for safe operation.
  • Climb the ladder slowly and avoid sudden movements.
  • Never move your ladder while standing on it.
  • Keep your center of gravity (your stomach) in between the ladder side rails to keep your balance and avoid falls.

Three Points of Contact

The three points of contact technique allows anyone using a ladder to maintain stability and balance while climbing up and down the ladder. Just as the name indicates, three points of contact indicate that the ladder operator maintains three points of contact at all times with the ladder. Three points of contact are achieved when the person climbing the ladder faces the ladder and has two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet in contact with the ladder rungs, steps or side rails.