Stepladder Safety

July 2022 Safety Topic

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), falls from portable stepladders are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries. Therefore, OSHA states that employers must ensure that ladders are inspected before use at the start of each shift and more frequently if necessary.

Remember these important safety precautions when working with stepladders:

  • Use the right-sized ladder for the job.
  • Read the ladder’s warning labels and follow the manufacturer’s recommended use.
  • Do not load ladders beyond the maximum load for which they were built, nor beyond the manufacturer’s rated capacity.
  • Always visually inspect step ladders before use for defects such as missing/broken rungs, bolts, screws, and loose components. If a defective ladder is found, immediately tag it “DO NOT USE” and notify your supervisor.
  • Climb facing the ladder. Center your body between the rails, and keep your hips square to the rungs. Hold the side rails with both hands; you have a better chance of avoiding a fall if a rung or step fails.
  • Never stand on the top rung or step of a stepladder - this makes the ladder unstable and prone to tip over.                                             

For more information or questions about step ladder safety, please speak with your supervisor or contact a Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance team member.