Ladder Safety

Improper ladder use and maintenance in the agricultural or farm setting can lead to injuries ranging from sprains to death. Employers and employees should follow the ladder safety measures discussed below to help ensure ladder safety.

General Employee Ladder Safety Measures

Employers should encourage employees to observe the following ladder safety principles:

  • Examine ladders to ensure they are in good condition. Wood ladders should not be painted because this may disguise flaws or weak areas in the wood. Use the "four-to-one rule" for straight ladders, setting the ladder base one foot from a wall or building for each four feet in height the ladder extends.
  • When working on ladders:
    • Lock a leg around the ladder if you need to use both hands.
    • Do not overreach.
    • Keep your belt buckle between the ladder rungs.
    • Do not put one foot on the ladder and the other on an adjacent surface or object.
    • Do not jump down.
    • Avoid climbing a ladder in wet or icy conditions.
    • Be aware of power lines and avoid them.
    • Do not use a ladder in high places when the weather is windy or stormy or when you are ill, tired, or taking strong medication.  

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