Safety Tips When Handling or Using a Ladder

Ladders are important pieces of equipment that come in handy for numerous repairs. In fact, it’s difficult to thoroughly clean or inspect your gutters without one. Below, you will learn more about ladder safety to prevent injuries any time you use or handle a ladder.


Basic Safety Rules

The American Ladder Institute points out that: many of the rules associated with ladder use are simply common-sense safety rules, that apply to any task. Of these, here are some of the most important:

  • Do not climb a ladder if you are dizzy, tired, or prone to losing your balance.


  • Do not use a ladder in high winds or during a storm.


  • Always wear slip-resistant shoes.


  • Never attempt to move the ladder while standing on it.


  • Keep your stomach between the side rails of the ladder while climbing and working, and do not lean or overreach so that your stomach passes those rails.


  • Make sure the ladder’s duty rating supports not only your weight, but also the weight of the tools you will carry with you.


  • Do not place ladders in front of doors that can be opened and closed.


  • Check the ladder for disrepair or other problems before use.


  • Never allow more than one person to use a ladder at the same time.


These basic rules will help you (and anyone else who uses the ladder) stay safe.


Proper Ladder Placement

Aside from the basic rules above, it is important to make sure your ladder is carefully positioned before you attempt to climb it. Improper positioning is one of the leading causes of ladder-related injuries, but it can be avoided. Always make sure that you place the ladder on firm ground. Make sure the top of the ladder rests on a firm surface. If any kind of slippery condition exists; either on the ground or at the top, do not use the ladder until those conditions have resolved. Unstable ground and vertical support could cause a fall and lead to serious injuries.


How to Climb a Ladder Safely

Some of the most common causes of falls from ladders include: rushing to get a job done, moving quickly, failing to pay close attention to surroundings, poor footwear, or the user’s overall health or condition. When climbing a ladder, be sure that you always use the proper posture. Face the ladder and have at least three limbs in contact with the ladder. This is known as the three points-of-contact rule, and it greatly reduces the risk of falls. It is important to note that you cannot follow this rule if you carry an object in your hand that does not allow you to grip the ladder firmly.


These ladder safety rules are simple enough to follow, so be sure to familiarize yourself with them the next time you tackle an outdoor project like replacing or repairing your gutters. For more information about safe gutter repair, or to purchase the quality materials you will need to get the job done right, visit, the nation’s leading supplier of gutters and their related accessories.

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