Ladder Safety – Extension Ladder

  • Inspect the ladder for damages or defects before use – check stiles, rungs, ropes, pulleys, locking clutch, and feet are in good condition. If found faulty, do not use.
  • We recommend the Pole Belt be replaced every 6-12 months as constant exposure to the elements can cause degrading. Contact our office for a replacement.
  • Fully enclosed slip resistant footwear should always be worn when using ladders.
  • Ensure the ladder is placed on a firm level surface and that each foot is in contact with the surface.
  • Face the ladder when ascending or descending.
  • When ascending or descending the ladder maintain three points of contact. For example, two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot must be in contact with the ladder at all times. Use tool belts to keep hands free.
  • Ensure the ladder has an angle or pitch of 4:1 (i.e. up 4m, out 1m)
  • The ladder must extend 1 metre (3 rungs) above the top support.
  • Check the support for the top of the ladder is secure.
  • Ladders must be firmly secured, or tied off or clamped (top and bottom). When tied the ties should be attached to the stiles, not the rungs of the ladder. Ladders must be held firmly, by another person whilst they are being secured.
  • Where it is not practicable to secure or tie off a ladder, the ladder must be “footed” at the base by another person keeping both hands on the stiles to prevent movement or overturn.
  • If a ladder is to be placed against framing, or against brittle material such as asbestos cement, secure a board across the top of the stiles to distribute the load.
  • If a ladder is to be placed against a pole, it should have a suitable mount or belt at the top.  If being used in this manner it is advised the worker use an Australian standards approved full body harness and safety strap for securing the ladder.
  • If a ladder is being used with cable hooks, it is advised the worker use an Australian standards approved full body harness and safety strap for securing the ladder.
  • Before climbing make sure the clutch is fully engaged.
  • Never climb from one ladder to another.
  • An extension ladder can not be used in a horizontal position forming a bridging structure.
  • Do not exceed the load rating of the ladder.
  • When transporting ladder follow the transporting instructions guide.

For images related to safe use of extension ladders see Article 9 “Diagrams of Ladder Use”

What to do if you fall:

  • Calmly assess the situation, and determine if you are hurt.
  • Slowly sit up, wait, and then slowly stand.
  • If you feel that an injury has occurred which prevents standing or walking, remain seated and call for assistance. If the injury is serious call 000.
  • If you are not injured, rest awhile, there may be some shock, wait until you feel steady and have regained your composure.
  • Check the ladder and assess to the best of your ability the cause of the fall.
  • Reposition the ladder to ensure secure and solidly positioned before re-climbing.