Correct Ladder Use

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Proper ladder setup will help prevent slipping and falling. Place the base of the ladder on a firm, solid surface. If you must put a ladder on a soft surface, such as grass, place a board under the ladder's feet to provide firm footing. Never lean a ladder against glass or other unstable surfaces.

The angle of the ladder is a critical factor in ladder safety. Please use the 4-to-1 rule when using a ladder. This rule states that a single ladder or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height. See this picture for an example of the 4-to-1 rule. When accessing a roof or platform, the ladder should extend 3 feet beyond the roof or platform edge. So please ensure you have the correct ladder height. For example, if you need to access a 10 foot roof, the ladder should be at least 13 feet long.

When using a stepladder, please ensure it is open completely and lockers in place before you climb. If you use a ladder near a doorway, please post signs on or near the door so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder.

When climbing, always face the ladder and grip the rungs of the ladder, not the siderails. Keep you body near the middle of the ladder to maintain balance.

Always maintain a 3-point contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) on the ladder while climbing. This means that you should never climb with equipment in your hands. Use your pockets, tool belt, or pouch to carry small object up a ladder. Larger or heavier object should be hoisted up to your location for your use. If you forget something, climb down the ladder to retrieve it. Never have someone toss object up to you.

When descending a ladder, the same safety rules apply. Face the ladder, keep near the middle of the ladder, and maintain a 3-point contact with the ladder at all times.

Please refrain from using a ladder in bad weather. High winds, rain, and other inclement weather can cause an unsafe situation. Winds can blow you or the ladder over. Rain can make the ground and ladder slippery. Bitter cold can make metal ladder brittle and cause other structural damage. If bad weather begins, descend the ladder immediately and wait to finish the job until conditions are safe.

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