There are a few climbing guidelines that help to prevent accidents when using a portable ladder.
- Wear shoes with nonskid soles that are free of mud or grease. Clean ladder rungs of mud, grease, or ice before climbing.
- Place ladders on stable bases. Boxes, barrels, or other unstable surfaces should never be used to obtain additional height.
- If necessary, have another person hold the base of the ladder. If no one is available, the ladder should be securely lashed or fastened top and bottom to prevent it from slipping.
- Overreaching can cause instability. A good rule of thumb is to not let one's belt buckle outside the uprights.
- Always face the ladder and maintain a 3-point contact when climbing or descending.
- Always check to ensure tools and equipment have been removed from the top of the ladder before moving it.
- Only one person should climb a ladder at a time.
- Inspect ladders on a regular basis. See the Ladder Inspection Checklist.pdf for what to look for during the inspection.