Sometimes we focus on specific
aspects of safety or issues that came up in a ladder accident, but it is also
good to just have a couple of general reminders.

The Washington Department of Labor offers good reminders


[insert link]

for using your ladder safely.

  1. Carefully inspect the ladder
    1. Before using the ladder, look over every aspect
      of the ladder. Make sure all rivets, welds and components are in good working
      shape. Make sure the ladder is clean and free of any slick surfaces.
  2. Look at the ladder’s feet and slip-resistant
    pads

    1. If the ladder’s feet or pads are worn out, get
      the ladder out of service until they have been replaced.
  3. If you’ll be using your ladder near electricity,
    opt for a fiberglass ladder.

    1. Aluminum ladders are great because they are
      lightweight and generally easier to pack around than fiberglass ladders.
      However, if there is any chance you will be around electrical wires, opt for
      fiberglass since the fiberglass material does not conduct electricity.
  4. Set the ladder at a correct angle
    1. When using an extension ladder, set your ladder
      at a 75.5 degree angle. You can download the ladder safety app from NIOSH to
      help you determine the correct angle. Or, you can follow the “4-1 Rule.” Four
      every four feet (or four rungs) of height, you should have the ladder one foot away
      from the leaning surface or wall.
  5. Use the ladder on flat, level ground or use
    levelers

    1. Make sure the ground is level before you climb
      to help your ladder stay upright when you are at the top. If you have a ladder
      with levelers, you can adjust them to the unlevel ground before climbing.

For more tips, visit Washington
Department of Labor’s website or browse this website.