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Portable ladder safety

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; do not exceed the maximum load rate
• Use ladders and ladder accessories (levelers, jacks, hooks, etc.) for their designed purposes
• Implement a written fall protection program

Setting up the ladder:
• Always inspect the ladder before use
• If damage is detected, remove the ladder from service and tag it as out of service until the damage is
repaired or the ladder is discarded
• Check ladder rungs, steps and feet to ensure no slippery material is present
• Be sure all locks on the extension ladder are fully engaged
• Only use a ladder on solid, flat ground
• Never put a ladder on an unstable base (ex. boxes, barrels, stairs/steps) to reach a higher elevation
• 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

To safely raise an extension ladder:
• Place the ladder flat on the ground and have one person should stand with their feet on the bottom rail while
the other person lifts the ladder overhead, rung by rung until vertical
• When working alone, place the ladder base against the home or building foundation and raise it overhead,
rung-by-rung from the opposite end until vertical
• Place the top of the ladder against a solid surface that can withstand the load
• Do not let the top of the ladder rest on a gutter, window sash, window pane or anything that
can break or move


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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