Here today we will discuss the safe use of ladders. Annually most deaths and severe physical injuries cause due by the unsafe selection and use of various types of ladders. Selection and use of correct ladders may reduce and minimize physical injuries within your organization. To download more health and safety documents, keep visiting QHSE Documents regularly.

Types of Ladders We Use

1. Step Stool 

Don’t use a step stool or small step ladder if you can perform your task a different way, with a paint roller extension pole, for example. 

2. Step Ladder-Self-Supporting

A step ladder is a self-supporting, portable ladder used for a wide range of work activities. SL-are easily overturned and are not made to support side weight or work platforms. Side braces must be locked before climbing.

3. Platform Ladder  

Platform ladders function similarly to step ladders, but unlike stepladders, you may use the top platform to perform a task. 

4. Telescoping Ladder 

Telescoping Ladders-TL can be reinstalled or re-adjusted to work as an extension or step ladder. Always negate and avoid pinch points during its setup and dismantle or takedown.

5. Extension Ladder 

Extension Ladders-EL is generally used to access rooftops or elevated walls. Setup is particularly essential for Extension Ladders (EL) which have feet that have a possibility and can slip or slide out from under the EL user. This ladder is made from wood at the construction site and is not portable. Correct adjustment and installation are much essential for preventing falls from height physical injuries. 


  • What kind of ladders is appropriate and fit for your daily work activities? 
  • What type of surfaces will you be installing for the use of ladders and how can you make secure the feet?
  • What weight capacity does your task require? For tasks that need more weight on your ladder, particularly extension ladders, how do you decide and determine if the ladder is strong enough?
  • What types would be more critical and hazardous to use or use incorrectly for your job/activity?

Ladder Inspection

  • Always make a proper and careful inspection of your ladder before each use. 
  • Always check its purpose of use and capacity of weight, etc. 


  • Structural and or physical damage such as split or bent side rails, etc.
  • Missing safety devices, damaged or broken rungs or steps for any ladders
  • Grease, dirt, or other substances that could cause slips or falls
  • Paint, tape, or stickers, except warning labels, that could hide defects
  • Remove damaged ladders from service and destroy or tag them as requiring Service

Ladder Setup


Always select a ladder that’s made with the correct material, height, and duty rating for the job it is being used. 


Install and place the ladder on a balanced and stable surface.

Secure the feet of your ladder using a 2×4 cleat to the deck behind the ladder's feet. In addition to establishing a level base, make sure the feet can't slip backward. On the soft or sandy ground, flip up the ladder shoes so the spurs poke properly and securely into the ground. 


  1. Extension Ladders-SL must be one foot back for every four feet of height (4:1 rule).
  2. Extension Ladders-SL used to access upper levels must extend at least 3 feet above the roof edge.
  3. Tie off the top of an extension ladder. Do not hang objects such as tools, materials, etc. at the top of the ladder. 
  4. Ensure the ladder’s length will allow you to reach the work area without shifting your “belt buckle” outside of the rails.
  5. Be sure the load rating can support the weight of the user and the job materials. Hoist job materials up. Do not carry them.
  6. Keep the area around the top and bottom of the ladder clear. To make it more secure and safe, block the doors that could pose a hazard to ladder stability.


Break into small groups to:

  1. Choose and select a ladder for a given task/location 
  2. Demonstrate proper ladder carrying and setup.