OSHA step ladder safety check list

Stepladder Safety and OSHA Guidelines

Falls from portable ladders (step ladders, straight ladders, combination ladders, and extension ladders) are one of the leading causes of injuries from falls. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) of the United States Department of Labor is responsible for worker safety and health protection. They have put together several handouts for working safely with ladders.

We at Sunset Ladder & Scaffold want you to work safe and stay safe, so much so that we think it’s worth repeating OSHA’s guidelines for working safely with portable ladders:

maintain 3 points of ladder contact at all times
3 Point Contact
  • Read and follow all manufacturer’s labels and markings on the ladder.
  • Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
  • Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
  • Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing.
  • Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
  • Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
  • Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position. Do not use a step ladder with spreaders unlocked.
  • Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
  • Do not use the cross bracing on the rear of stepladders for climbing.
  • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
  • Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • Do not leave tools/materials/equipment on stepladder.
  • Do not use a stepladder horizontally like a platform.
  • A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.

Download OSHA’s Portable Ladder Safety Ouick Card


About Sunset Ladder & Scaffold
Sunset Ladder and Scaffold rents and sells the safest and highest quality ladders, scaffolding and related products available since 1929. We rent and sell ALL types of ladders and scaffolding that the industry offers including our own American-made Sunset Ladder Co and EZ Lift brands.