• Before use, inspect for physical defects.
  • Ladders are not to be painted except for numbering purposes.
  • Do not use ladders for skids, braces, workbenches, or any purpose other than climbing.
  • When ascending or descending a ladder, do not carry objects that will prevent you from grasping the ladder with both hands. (Common issue)
  • Always face the ladder when ascending and descending.
  • If you must place a ladder over a doorway, barricade the door to prevent its use, and post a warning sign.
  • Only one person is allowed on a ladder at a time.
  • Do not jump from a ladder when descending.
  • All joints between steps, rungs, and side rails must be tight.
  • Safety feet must be in good working order and placement.
  • Rungs must be free of grease and oil.


  • Do not place tools or materials on the steps or platform of a stepladder.
  • Do not use the top two steps of a stepladder as a step or stand. (Common issue)
  • Always level all four feet and lock spreaders in place.
  • Do not use a stepladder as a straight ladder. (Common issue)

Straight-type or extension ladders

  • All straight or extension ladders must extend at least 3 feet beyond the supporting object to access an elevated work area. (Common issue)
  • After raising the extension portion of a stage ladder to the desired height by two or more stages, check to ensure that the safety latches are engaged.
  • All extension or straight ladders must be secured or tied off at the top.
  • All ladders must be equipped with safety (non-skid) feet.
  • Portable ladders must be used at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about one-quarter of the ladder’s working length. (4:1 ratio)

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