Falling off ladders can kill

Falls are a leading cause of death in construction and every year, falls from
ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. These deaths are preventable.
Falls from ladders can be prevented and lives can be saved by following a safe
work practice.

When you want to reach a higher work area, think about the best equipment to
use. While a ladder or stepladder is commonly used, it may not always be the
best option. Ask yourself these questions before deciding on a ladder:

  • Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?

  • Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?

  • Will I be working from this height for a long time?

  • Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?

If your answer is yes to one of the above questions, consider using something
other than a ladder. If possible, bring in other equipment like a scissor lift.
If you have to use a ladder, use one that has a working platform with hand rail
barricades on the sides (e.g., a platform step ladder).

Whenever you use a ladder or a stepladder, take note of the safety advices:

  • Use the right ladder for the job. For example, ensure the ladder is high enough for you to reach your work area without having to stand on the top rung.

  • The base of the ladder should be secured.

  • Wear proper footwear (e.g., non-slip flat shoes).

  • Place the ladder on stable and level ground. DO NOT place it on an uneven surface.

  • Ensure that the ladder is fully extended before starting work.

  • Prevent passersby from walking under or near ladders in use by using barriers (e.g., cones) or getting your coworker to act as a lookout.

  • Do not work on the top rung of the ladder.

  • Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times.

  • Do not carry any tools or materials in your hands when climbing a ladder.

  • Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out your task. Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.

  • Do not use ladders near doorways. If you need to use a ladder near a doorway, make sure that the door is locked.

  • Check, Maintain and Store Ladders Well

Further - Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration