CSM logo - horizontal

Stepping up your portable ladder safety

Stepping up portable ladder safety talk

Step ladders can be a great aid in safely reaching or placing items up high. However, when used in an unsafe manner ladders can add to the fall risk creating greater chance for injury.

Below are tips on safely using step ladders:

  • Always inspect the ladder prior to using it and follow all safety instructions provided on the Check for:
    • Missing or damaged feet
    • Any sign of rot
    • Excessive warping
    • Cracks in the rails, especially near the rungs
    • Loose, split or missing rungs
  • Maintain three-point contact with your hands, feet and the ladder when climbing.
  • Make sure the ladder is on a surface that is stable, level and slip resistant.
  • Use the proper height ladder for the job being performed. Do not place the ladder on an object or place an object on the ladder to obtain additional height.
  • Do not move, shift, or “walk” a ladder with a person on it.
  • A straight ladder should extend a minimum of three feet above the point of support (what the ladder is leaning against) and the rungs in that three-foot section should not be used for climbing.
  • In placing an extension ladder, the ladder should be one foot out for every four feet up, extend at least three feet above the roofline and be tied off at the top.
  • Always check the workspace for power lines prior to using a Never use a metal ladder near electrical wires.
  • Be sure that all locks are properly engaged.
  • Do not climb with hands full. Materials should be put in a bucket or bag fastened to a rope or a line. When work area is reached, hoist the materials up and fasten the bucket or pail to the platform or rung.
  • Check footwear for mud, oil or other debris that could cause a slip from the ladder.


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.

Meet Our Safety Team

Related Safety Resources