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do's and don'ts of ladder climbing

Smart ladder users are safe climbers
Ladders are such common everyday tools that many workers take them for granted. As you read the safety guidelines, you may say: “I know that, that’s just plain common sense.” You can avoid a ladder injury if you think before you act and use ladders correctly. Your work will be easier and more productive, too. Ladder related injuries are preventable, if you think before you climb.

The "RIGHT" way to use a ladder

RIGHT
Properly set-up and use the ladder in accordance with safety instructions and warnings. Wear shoes with non-slip soles.
RIGHT
Center body on the ladder and keep belt buckle between the rails while maintaining a firm grip.
RIGHT
Haul materials with a line rather than carry them up an extension ladder. Use extra caution when carrying anything on a ladder.
RIGHT
Climb facing the ladder, move one step at a time and firmly set one foot before moving the other.
RIGHT
Have another person help with a heavy ladder. Have another person hold the ladder while you are working on it.
RIGHT
Move materials with extreme caution so as not to lose balance or tip the ladder.

The "Wrong" way to use a ladder

WRONG
DON'T stand above the second step from the top of a stepladder or the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder.
WRONG
DON'T climb a closed stepladder. DON'T climb on the back of a stepladder. DON'T stand or sit on a stepladder top or pail shelf.
WRONG
DON'T climb a ladder if you are not physically and mentally up to the task.
WRONG
DON'T place the base of an extension ladder too close to or too far away from the building.
WRONG
DON'T over-reach, lean to one side or try to move a ladder while on it. Climb down and then reposition the ladder closer to your work.
WRONG
DON'T exceed the maximum load capacity or duty rating of a ladder. DON’T permit more than one person on a single-sided stepladder or an extension ladder.
To learn more about ladder safety, check out the Werner Safety Training Program!
Different types of ladders are designed to keep you safe and productive when climbing or standing. Using the wrong style of ladder or simply ignoring the limitations of climbing equipment can result in a fall or serious injury.
Height is referring to the actual ladder height. Extension ladders should be 7 to 10 feet longer than the highest support or contact point, which may be the wall or roof line. The highest standing level is four rungs down from the top. The highest permitted standing level on a stepladder is two steps down from the top.

Reach height is the maximum reach assuming a 5’6” person with a vertical 12” reach.
Ladders are designed to safely hold up to a specific amount of weight. The Werner Performance System defines five different capacities using a color and star rating system. The Duty Rating is defined as the maximum safe load capacity of the ladder. A person’s fully clothed weight plus the weight of any tools and materials that are carried onto the ladder must be less than the load capacity.

Werner offers ladder made from fiberglass and aluminum. Each material has characteristics which make it best for certain applications, or one material may simply fit the personal preferences of the user. For example, if working around electricity users should select fiberglass products due to their non-conductive side rails.