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5. Use Safe Work Practices

  • always follow manufacturer's recommendations for proper use
  • tie, block or otherwise secure the ladder to prevent it from being displaced
  • when climbing and descending on ladders always face the ladder and keep 3 alternate contact points (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot)
    When climbing, descending or working on ladders always face the ladder and keep 3 alternate contact points.    When climbing, descending or working on ladders always face the ladder and keep 3 alternate contact points.    When working on ladders always face the ladder and keep 3 alternate contact points (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot).
  • whenever possible perform your work in-line with the ladder, not on either side
    • if you need to perform work on either side of the ladder have a co-worker hold the ladder
  • only use extension ladders to access and come down from elevated landings and work surfaces
    • extend the ladder used for access at least 36 inches above the elevated landing or work surface
  • make sure hinges on stepladders are fully open and locked
    Make sure hinges on stepladders are fully open and locked.
  • have co-workers hand up tools and equipment instead of carrying them when on a ladder
    Have co-workers hand up tools and equipment instead of carrying them when on a ladder.
  • wear shoes with slip resistant soles
  • clean mud and other slippery substances off your shoes and ladder rungs before climbing the ladder
  • only one person at a time should be on a given ladder unless the ladder is specially designed to hold more than one person at a time (e.g., double sided or mechanics ladders)
  • when moving an extension ladder always retract the "fly" section(s)
  • when carrying a ladder keep the back section(s) lower than the front
  • store ladders to protect them from weathering effects
  • when using extension ladders consider using fall protection systems

Don't

  • use damaged or defective ladders or ladders inappropriate for the specific job
  • hand carry loads or equipment while on a ladder
    Don't hand carry loads or equipment while on a ladder.
  • reach to the point where you loose your balance; move the ladder instead
  • stand or work on the top cap or the step below the top cap of a stepladder
  • stand or work on the top 3 rungs of an extension ladder
    Don't stand or work above of last 3 rungs.    Don't stand or work above of last 3 rungs.
  • place ladders on boxes, barrels, pick- up trucks or scaffolds or equipment
    Don't ladders on boxes, barrels, pick- up trucks or  scaffolds or equipment.
  • use portable ladders in a horizontal position as a plank, platform, runaway, or scaffold
  • splice together short ladders to make longer ladders
  • use ladders with only a single rail
  • use ladders in high winds