Safety Tips When Working on a Ladder

Many serious workplace injuries happen when someone slips and falls from a ladder. Even a relatively good landing could result in something like a broken ankle or a fractured wrist. But a poor landing could lead to something like a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury. People even pass away in these accidents every year.

Clearly, you want to stay as safe as you can on the job, but there may be no way that you can avoid using a ladder. It’s just an inherent part of your job and a tool that you must utilize. So how can you stay safe?

10 important safety tips

To help you avoid an accident, keep the following tips in mind whenever your employer asks you to work on a ladder:

  1. Always try to maintain three points of contact when you are climbing.
  2. Wear the right shoes, such as slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles.
  3. Read the safety labels before you start to climb the ladder.
  4. Inspect the ladder prior to use to make sure that it is in good working condition.
  5. Only climb on the rungs, and never on the other side of a folding ladder.
  6. Never use a ladder with another worker who is climbing it at the same time; the only way two workers should be involved is when one is holding the ladder for the other.
  7. If you can’t reach something, climb down and move the ladder to the side instead of leaning.
  8. Never climb a ladder if you are feeling overly fatigued, dizzy or sick.
  9. Consider the weather conditions and watch for wind and rain.
  10. Be cautious of overhead power lines, especially when using metal ladders.


These tips do not guarantee that you won’t be involved in a fall, but they can significantly lower your odds. Plus, simply having an emphasis on safety is going to reduce the chances that you get hurt on the job.

What if you are injured?

If you do suffer injuries, though, you know how big of an impact they can have on your career and on your life. When those injuries happened on the job, you likely have a right to workers’ compensation. Be sure that you know about all the steps you’ll need to take.