To prevent falls from ladders, make sure your have the following controls in place:
Use only ladders that are in good condition and designed to handle
the climbing job that needs to be done.
Train employees on proper ladder use.
Make proper ladder use a performance requirement for the job.
Require employees to complete a ladder inspection before each use.
Criteria for Ladder Purchase and Care
Check OSHA standards for the type of ladder you are using.
Use only Underwriter’s Laboratory approved ladders (will have the UL seal).
Protect wood ladders with a clear sealer, such as varnish, shellac, linseed oil or wood
preservative because paint can hide defects.
Be sure step ladders are fully open and locked before climbing them.
Place ladder on a flat, secure surface.
Place ladder on a hard surface as it will sink into a soft surface.
Place ladder on non-movable base.
Lean ladder against a secure surface, not boxes or barrels.
Do not place ladder in front of a door.
Position base of ladder one foot away for every four feet of height to where it rests (1:4 ratio).
Ladder rails should extend at least three feet above top landing.
Check shoes to ensure they are free of grease or mud.
Mount the ladder from the center, not from the side.
Face ladder when ascending or descending, and hold on with both hands.
Carry tools in pockets, in a bag attached to a belt, or raised and lowered by rope.
Don’t climb higher than the third rung from the top.
Work facing the ladder.
Do not overreach, always keep your torso between the ladder rails.
When using ladder for high places, securely lash or fasten the ladder to prevent slipping.
Avoid outdoor ladder use on windy days.
Avoid aluminum ladders if work must be done around electrical wires or power lines.