To safely use a ladder, follow safety labels, inspect the ladder, set it up securely and maintain three points of contact, states the American Ladder Institute. Wear nonslip shoes, and use the ladder when you are alert to maintain your balance. Avoid poor weather conditions or hazards such as electrical lines.
The labels and markings on the ladder offer essential warnings and instructions to use the tool safely. Do not exceed the load limits listed on the ladder. This includes your weight plus any tools you are using, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. Choose the best style and size of ladder for the job, using it only as intended. Do not use a step ladder in the closed position as an extension ladder.
The ladder should go on a flat, secure surface without the risk of slipping, according to the American Ladder Institute. When using an extension ladder, the contact point at the top also needs to be solid and slip-resistant. Avoid setting up the ladder in front of a door or other potential dangers.
Climb the rungs facing the ladder keeping your body near the middle of the rungs, explains the U.S. Department of Labor. The three-point contact method refers to keeping at least two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot in contact with the ladder at all times. Never stand on the top rung or lean to the side.