If a ladder is used, check that:

  • The type of ladder is appropriate to the task. Do not use ‘domestic’ or ‘home-made’ ladders. All ladders must comply with the AS/NZS 1892 series  and users must follow the manufacturer’s/suppliers’ recommendations on safe use
  • The ladder is in good condition. Before it is used, the ladder should be inspected for faults, such as broken rungs, rails and footing.
  • If ladders are found to be damaged or defective – DO NOT USE and remove from service
  • The ladder is on firm, stable and level ground.  Never use any makeshift foundation such as drums, boxes or blocks to get extra height.
  • The ladder is the correct height for the task to avoid reaching or stretching.  Do not stand above the tread or rung on the ladder indicated as the maximum safe working height.
  • The ladder is not too close or too far from the support structure. The ratio must be 4:1. For example, the distance between the ladder base and the supporting structure should be about one metre for every four metres of working ladder height
  • The worker faces the ladder and keeps his/her body centred between the ladder stiles
  • Only one person uses the ladder at any one time.
  • The ladder is secured against displacement (i.e. slipping or sliding) and/or there is another person holding the base of the ladder
  • The ladder is not placed so that the weight of the ladder and any person using the ladder is supported by the rungs
  • All the locking devices on the ladder are secure
  • Materials or tools are not carried while climbing the ladder. Tools should be carried in a tool belt or side pouch
  • Only light duty work is undertaken while on the ladder, where three points of contact can be maintained and tools can be operated safely with one hand
  • Slip resistant base, rungs or steps are provided
  • Slip resistant shoes are worn
  • Metal or wire bound ladders are never used close to energised power lines; non-metallic ladders must be used instead, and ̎ ladders are not used:
  1. In access areas or next to doors;
  2. on scaffolding or an elevating work platform to get extra height;
  3. next to power lines;
  4. in very wet or windy conditions; or
  5. next to traffic areas unless the working area is barricaded