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Portable ladder safety

Portable ladder safety talk

Falls from portable ladders are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries. Following the tips below will help you stay safe while using a portable ladder on the job.

Before you begin a job:

  • Read and follow all ladder recommendations provided by the manufacturer
    • Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment
    • Use ladders and ladder accessories (levelers, jacks, hooks, extensions etc.) for their designed purposes
  • Inspect the ladder before use; if damage is detected, remove from service, and tag it
    • Check ladder rungs, steps and feet to ensure no slippery material is present

Setting up the ladder:

  • Be sure all locks on the extension ladder are fully engaged
    • Only use a ladder on solid, flat ground; never place on an unstable base such as a box or bucket
    • Be aware of electrical hazards such as overhead power lines before handling a ladder
    • Never use a metal ladder near electrical power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment
    • Place the top of the ladder against a solid surface that can withstand the load
  • Ladders should be placed at a 4 to 1 ratio for stabilization and should extend 3 feet past the point of contact

Safe ladder use:

  • Do not carry tools or equipment in hands while climbing a ladder; hoist anything extra up after
  • Be aware of any change in the rungs as you climb
    •Always face the ladder keeping the body centered and maintaining 3 points of contact while ascending or descending


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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