Ladder Safety Tips

As summer arrives, many people will be working outside of their homes or summer residences.
In an average year, 93,000 American are injured while using a ladder. In fact, falls are the second leading cause of accidental death for Americans after traffic collisions. The National Traffic Safety Institute recommends that you do the following to protect yourself when using a ladder.

Ladder manufacturers classify ladders for home usage in three categories, Types, I, II, and III. Type III ladders are designed to support 200 pounds of equipment and the worker. Type II ladders are designed to support approximately 225 pounds, and Type I will support approximately 250 pounds.

  • Never paint wooden ladders, as the paint may hide cracks and other defects.
  • Remember that aluminum ladders are good conductors of electricity, so make sure to keep them away from power lines. Do not use them while doing electrical work.
  • Be careful when carrying a ladder so you do not accidentally strike another person.
  • Always place a ladder on solid level ground or other surface.
  • A ladder should extend two feet above what you wish to step onto or work on.
  • When using an extension ladder, the base of the ladder should be placed a distance from the surface the ladder is leaned against, equal to one fourth the height of the ladder from the base to contact with the building or other object.