At best, falling from a ladder will leave you feeling stupid. At worst, one careless move can end it all. Here are 20 tips to prevent a fall.
1. Inspect your ladder regularly for damaged and worn parts.
2. Keep metal ladders away from wires.
3. Keep the rungs clean, and wear slip-resistant shoes.
4. Make sure the ladder shoes have a firm footing, and if possible, have someone hold the base of the ladder for you.
5. Don’t work in high winds.
6. Remember that rain makes the rungs slippery.
7. Don’t overreach. Stay in the center of the ladder, by keeping your belt buckle positioned between the side rails.
8. Know the duty rating on your ladder and don’t overload it.
9. Make sure the angle is right. The feet should be 1/4 the working height away from the base of the wall.
10. Make sure the ladder extends three feet beyond the edge of roof.
11. Don’t climb higher than the third rung from top.
12. Make sure all locks are engaged.
13. Raise and lower your ladder from the ground; don’t be an acrobat. And never “walk” a ladder to move it.
14. Wear a tool belt so your hands are free.
15. Build a backpack for shingles and lower large items with a rope.
16. Carry ladders parallel to the ground.
17. Barricade the area around the ladder and guard doorways.
18. Face the ladder when climbing and descending.
19. Keep three points of contact: two feet and one hand, or two hands on one foot.
20. Only one person at a time on the ladder.