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Ladder Safety

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

ladder safety
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Falls are one of the most common incidents in a workplace and at home. The cause of these is mainly from use of incorrect equipment or the job. In construction the cost of falls per year is estimated at $24 million. Preventing falls in the workplace needs to be a priority for workers, contractors, management.

Control the Hazard

To stay safe when working at height, you need to ensure effective controls are in place to prevent people being harmed. To select the most effective controls, you must consider the hierarchy of control:

Eliminate the chances of a fall by doing as much of the preparation work as possible on

the ground.

Isolate the worker from the risk of a fall by using scaffolds and edge protection to prevent

the fall.

Only when these steps are not achievable should the risk be minimized by using Personal Protection Items such as harness and ropes.

When to Use a Ladder

Ladders do not offer any protection from a fall. Ladders are primarily a means of access to carry out light tasks that are of short duration.

This could be reaching a shelf up high, changing a light bulb, touching up paint, testing a smoke alarm.

When selecting the best way to work at height, always assess the hazard of a fall by following the hierarchy of controls - elimination, isolation and minimization.

Also ask yourself the following questions:


  1. Inspect the ladder prior to use

  2. Ladder to be industrial standard with 120kg or 150kg rating and complies with AS/NZS 1892 standard

  3. Ladder should be clearly labeled Face steps towards the work activity

  4. Use in a safe environment free from clutter

  5. Firm level base - secure base so the ladder does not move

  6. Secure the ladder at top and bottom

  7. Stay near the center of the ladder

  8. Maintain 3 points of contact to the ladder

  9. Stop at the third step from the top of a straight ladder

  10. Carry tools using a tool belt

  11. Establish stabilising stays, locking clips or locking arms securely

  12. Ensure the ladder is at least 4m clear from overhead power lines

  13. Ladder to extend 1 metre beyond disembarking point


  1. Do not extend ladders while standing on rungs

  2. Do not overload or carry loads on ladders

  3. Do not allow more than one person at one time on the ladder

  4. Do not stand ladders on moveable objects or uneven ground

  5. Do not overreach, keep line of belt buckle inside the stiles

  6. Avoid holding items when climbing and use a tool belt

  7. Avoid side-loading work

  8. Do not use a ladder that is covered in chemicals or other materials

  9. Do not rest tools or materials on ladder

  10. Do not use a broken ladder

  11. Do not carry heavy items on a ladder

Need Assistance?

Our team are available if you require a Safe Work Procedure for Ladders

Please contact us if you require any advice.

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