Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and every year, falls from ladders make up nearly a third of those deaths. These deaths are preventable and lives can be saved by following safe work practices.


When Should You Use a Ladder?


When you want to reach a higher work area, think about the best equipment to use. While a ladder or stepladder is commonly used, it may not always be the best option. Ask yourself these questions before deciding on a ladder.


  • Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder?
  • Is the elevated area high enough that it would require a long ladder that can be unstable?
  • Will I be working from this height for a long time?
  • Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to do this work?

If your answer is yes to one of the above questions, consider using something other than a ladder. If possible, bring in other equipment like a scissor lift. If you have to use a ladder, use one that has a working platform with hand rail barricades on the sides and use it safely.

Ladder Safety Tips and Policies


  • Inspect the ladder for any damage before use. Tag ladder out of service if its damaged.
  • 100% tie off at or above 6 feet.
  • Use the right ladder for the job. For example, is the ladder high enough to reach work area without having to stand on top rungs.
  • Place the ladder on stable and level ground.
  • Ensure the ladder is fully extended before starting work.
  • Always follow and abide by PLS and the Manufacturers policies.
  • Maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
  • Do not carry any tools or materials in your hands when climbing a ladder.
  • Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out your task. Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.
  • Do not use ladders near doorways. If you need to use a ladder near a doorway, make sure that the door is locked.


OSHA’s message to the construction industry is simple: SAFETY PAYS AND FALLS COST.