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Ladder lessons

Aiming for high places? You may need a ladder. Use it correctly or your “climbing up” may become “falling down.”

Ladder use 101

  • For jobs that could take awhile, use an elevated platform, like scaffolding or a scissor lift. For shorter jobs at heights, ladders are fine.
  • If you’re using the ladder to get to a higher area (like a roof), the ladder’s side rail must extend at least 3 feet (1 metre) above the roofline.
  • To prevent the ladder from slipping, secure the top of the side rails to the structure.

Top ladder tips

  • Never step on the top two rungs of an extension ladder.
  • When using a stepladder, open and lock the spreader bars, making sure all four feet are steady on the ground.
  • Use the 4 to 1 rule: For every 4 feet (120 cm) up, place the ladder base 1 foot (30 cm) from the wall or upper support that it rests against.
  • Place the base on a firm and level surface. If the ground is not level, use levellers.

Learn more

Visit Ladders to find guides, videos, and other information on this topic.

Remember, whether you’re at work, school, or home, staying safe is your most important job. If you see something unsafe, you have a right and responsibility to do something and talk to your supervisor, teacher, or parent about it.

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