Product categories

Ladder safety

Check the ladder is safe before you use it

A safe ladder:

  • has no signs of warping, rust, corrosion or missing rivets
  • has no loose or cracked rungs or hinges
  • has non-slip safety feet that are in good condition
  • is the right height for the job—if using an extension ladder to access a roof or work area, the top of the ladder should extend at least one metre over the top of the surface it is resting on.

Set your ladder up safely

  • Place the ladder on dry, firm and level ground — if the soil is too soft, place a hard board under the ladder’s feet to stop it sinking.
  • Engage all locks and braces — step ladders should be fully opened.
  • Keep the ladder clear of power lines and exposed electrical wiring.
  • The foot of an extension ladder should be placed at a distance from the wall equal to ¼ of the length of the ladder.

Climb safely

  • Wear well fitting, enclosed and slip-resistant footwear—not sandals or thongs.
  • Have someone hold the ladder at the base while you are using it.
  • Check the weight capacity and never climb on the cross bracing on the back of the ladder. These braces are not designed to carry the recommended weight.
  • Two people should never climb the ladder at the same time even if their combined weight is below the maximum weight capacity.
  • Hold the ladder with both hands as you climb and carry tools in a tool belt.
  • Stay in the centre of the ladder as you climb.
  • Only climb to the second rung from the top of a step ladder or the third rung from the top of an extension ladder.
  • Secure the top of an extension ladder into position before starting work.

Work safely

  • Work within arm’s reach from the ladder—if you cannot easily reach, climb down and reposition the ladder.
  • Always hold the ladder with one hand.
  • Be careful when pulling items from shelves/gutters/roofs as this may cause you to lose your balance.
  • When you are finished store the ladder in a dry place to prevent warping or corrosion.

Always be careful when using ladders

  • Don’t take risks by taking a short cut.
  • Never lean on a ladder on an unstable or slippery surface.
  • Do not ‘walk’ the ladder while you're still on it—climb down and reposition the ladder closer to the work.
  • Do not push or pull against other objects when up the ladder unless the ladder is properly secured—these forces can destabilise the ladder.
  • Do not use a ladder if you are working in wind or rain.
  • Do not use a ladder if you are affected by medication or if you have a medical condition that can cause you to lose your balance.
  • Never have more than one person on the ladder at a time.
  • If the ladder needs repairing it should be done so by a professional.

Always follow safety warnings on ladders

  • Read the safety warnings on the ladder and follow the manufacturer’s advice.
  • Never use a ladder if you are alone and cannot get assistance if you have an accident.
  • If you are a senior citizen or a person with a disability you may be eligible for assistance with home maintenance from either your council or local agencies.

© Copyright ACCC 2016 Contact us | Site map | Glossary | New on site | Help | Privacy | Disclaimer & copyright | Accessibility | Login | Chinese language information page 中文信息