Ladder Safety

No matter what the task working on a ladder can be dangerous. Be careful and be cautious before you climb up a ladder and use this helpful advice when you're working on one.

By Gene And Katie Hamilton

Ladder Safety

When you're working on a ladder to clean gutters, paint siding or string holiday lights consider this advice about how to use a ladder safely. Just ask anyone who works in a hospital emergency room and you'll learn falling off a ladder is the cause of many accidents around the house.

Avoid climbing a ladder in wet conditions because it can be slippery climbing up and down the ladder. Make sure the rungs are dry and be sure to face the ladder when climbing and wear slip-resistant shoes, such as those with rubber soles.

Follow these simple five guidelines to assure you will be safe working on a ladder and be able to complete your task with confidence,

  • Always use a sturdy ladder when climbing; it's too risky to climb on a chair.
  • Before using a ladder outdoors, choose a location that is well away from all power lines. Coming in contact with live wires can be fatal.
  • Place the ladder on level ground and open it completely, making sure all locks are engaged.
  • Use the 4-to-1 rule for extension ladders: for each 4 feet of distance between the ground and the upper point of contact (such as the wall or roof) move the base of the ladder out 1 foot.
  • Stand at or below the highest safe standing level on a ladder. For a stepladder, the safe standing level is the second rung from the top, and for an extension ladder, it's the fourth rung from the top.
  • More about Safety at Home:



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