Safety recommendations for rolling step ladders include keeping rolling ladders in good mechanical condition, activating the floor lock or brake before use, tying off or securing the ladder if it could tip, inspecting rolling ladders for defects before use, and never standing with one foot on the ladder and the other foot on another objects. Ladder accidents cause about 300 deaths and 130,000 injuries each year in the United States.
Other safety recommendations are protecting rolling ladders that are stored outdoors from rain, snow and ice; regularly inspecting rolling ladders for rust and corrosion; removing damaged rolling ladders from use; removing tools, equipment or boxes before moving a rolling ladder; and not setting rolling ladders close to doors that could swing open against it.
Basic portable ladder rules include using the ladder only on a level and stable surface; not perching the ladder on a box, barrel or unstable base to get additional height; and not moving the ladder when a person or load is on it. Users should also maintain three points of contact with the ladder while climbing, which means that two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand must be in contact with the ladder at all times.
Many ladder accidents are a result of improper use, selection or maintenance of the ladder. Users can prevent accidents from happening by properly maintaining ladders, selecting the correct ladder for the job, observing safety procedures and adequately planning for tasks beforehand.