Follow these seven easy steps to use a ladder safely.
1. Use a ladder that meets the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1892). Ask the retailer if you are unsure.
2. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety warnings. Before using a ladder, make sure it:
- is the right height for the job
- has non-slip feet
- shows no signs of warping, rust or corrosion
- has no missing parts
- is placed on a level, firm footing
- is securely locked and braced into place.
3. Make sure there are no power lines or exposed electrical wiring near the ladder. Never use ladders during storms, or in rainy or windy weather.
4. Lean the ladder against a wall at a ratio of 4:1 to stop it from falling over. For example, if the ladder is four metres tall, place the foot of the ladder one metre from the wall.
5. When climbing on a ladder:
- Always wear enclosed slip-resistant shoes.
- Have someone hold the ladder at the base.
- Climb up the centre of the ladder, holding it with both hands.
- Carry any tools in a tool belt.
- Never stand on the tread immediately below the top cap as you may lose your balance.
6. When working on a ladder:
- Always grip the ladder with one hand.
- Work within arm´s reach of the ladder.
- If you can´t easily reach what you need to, climb down and safely reposition the ladder.
Be careful when pulling items from shelves, gutters or roofs, as this may cause you to lose balance.
7. Be mindful of individual circumstances. Do not use a ladder if you are affected by medication or a health condition that may cause you to lose balance. Avoid using a ladder if you are alone or cannot get help in the case of an accident.
Note: Senior citizens and people with disabilities may be eligible for government or local council assistance with home maintenance.
Last reviewed 05/08/2011