Parts must be free of defects, cracks, dents, bends, breaks, splits, sharp edges, corrosion, rust, exposed fiberglass, rot, decay, or excessive wear.
Rungs and steps must be free of mud, grease, oil, wet paint, snow, or other slippery substances.
Rungs, steps, and side rails must be securely connected.
Bolts, rivets, nails, and screws must be secure.
Moving parts must move freely without binding or too much play.
Safety shoes or padded feet are in good repair and clean, not missing, loose, and not excessively worn.
Locking guides or brackets must be properly engaged.
Rope tracks must be placed properly in the pulley.
Ropes must not be frayed, cut, badly worn, or burned and must be free of tangles.
Make sure you can set up your ladder at the required angle, using the 4-to-1 rule: ensure the ladder is one foot away from the wall for every four feet the ladder rises.
If you will be getting off the top of your ladder to access your work area, make sure your ladder’s side rails extend at least three feet above the level or upper landing you are accessing.
Always dig down instead of building up footing support or using leg levelers on uneven surfaces if possible.
Consider securing the ladder at the bottom of the floor if the surface is smooth, such as a polished concrete surface.
Check the load and duty ratings on the manufacturer’s label. Make sure your ladder can handle the combined weight of you and your tools.
Use a ladder made of non-conductive materials, such as fiberglass, when doing electrical work.
As a rule, never let your belt buckle go outside the side rails.
It would be best to use a safety belt with a lanyard secured to the ladder when doing any work that requires both hands and is done from a ladder more than 25 feet above the ground or floor.