Use the correct ladder
When choosing your ladder, make sure to choose the right one for the job. Make sure your ladder is tall enough to reach what you are working on. If your work is inside, a small stepladder may do the job. If you are outside, you may need a taller stepladder or extension ladder.
Know Your Duty Ratings
-IAA Extra Heavy Duty 375 lbs. maximum
-IA Industrial extra heavy 300 lbs. maximum
-I Industrial heavy 250 lbs. maximum
-II Commercial medium 225 lbs. maximum
-III Household light 200 lbs. maximum
Inspect the ladder
Before climbing the ladder, make sure it is in good shape. If the ladder is damaged, bent or broken, take it out of service and either destroy it or repair it. In your inspection, make sure the ladder is also free of snow, oil, mud, grease or other slippery substances.
While moving the ladder
When carrying an extension ladder, carry it parallel to the ground and hold it in the middle of the rail to help you better balance the ladder. If the ladder is on the taller side, ask someone to help you move it. If you are moving a stepladder, always move it while it is in the closed position.
Setting up the ladder
Always be aware of your surroundings before you climb your ladder. Make sure your ladder will not hit any electrical wires or tree limbs. Make sure your ladder is on firm, level ground and that the ladder is at the correct angle.
Here are some ladder height recommendations:
16 ft. ladder 13 ft. maximum work height
24 ft. ladder 21 ft. maximum work height
28 ft. ladder 24 ft. maximum work height
32 ft. ladder 29 ft. maximum work height
36 ft. ladder
32 ft. maximum work height
Using Your Ladder
If using a stepladder, make sure it is open and that the spreader bars are locked. Don’t put the ladder on other ladders or boxes or any other uneven surface. Make sure the soles of your shoes are clean and that they can grip. Avoid using shoes as with leather soles. Never stand on the top rung or top cap.
If you are using an extension ladder, make sure your ladder extends three feet above the roof line and that you don’t climb on the top three rungs.
Always face the ladder while you climb. Also, stay in the center of the rails. Hold both rails and maintain the three points of contact rule. Be aware of the ladder’s weight rating. If the weather is bad or you don’t feel well, save your ladder project for another day.