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Ladders can pose extra dangers around the workplace

Many types of jobs require the use of a ladder. When used incorrectly, step, straight, extension, and combination ladders can be dangerous. When wearing safety products such as hard hats and fall protection, employees can reduce risks when ladders are involved. Ladder placement is very important and it's a good idea to keep these guidelines in mind.

• The spot where a ladder meets the object that it's leaning against is its contact point
• When using an extension or straight ladder, there should always be at least 3 feet between the ladder's contact point and its top
• Never stand on the top three rungs of a straight, single, or extension ladder
• The horizontal distance between the bottom of the ladder and the contact point it's resting on should be one-fourth of the vertical length
• Ladders should only be used on a level surface and should never touch anything but the ground or floor
• Boxes, step stools, and other items shouldn't ever be used to give a ladder more height or reach
• When using a stepladder or a ladder that extends, any locks that keep it upright need to be locked securely in place
• Check and re-check all locks before anyone climbs on a ladder
• Never use the top step or rung of a ladder as a step

Employers should train workers on proper ladder use and any additional safeguards or procedures that may apply to their worksites or facilities to reduce the dangers of ladder use.