Toolbox Talk: Step Ladders

| |
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Step Ladders addresses the risks associated with using step ladders. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)

https://www.cpwr.com/publications/toolbox-talks

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoTaking proper precautions with ladders begins with choosing the right ladder. Consider the type of work the ladder will be used for, the weight the ladder must carry, and the condition of the ladder.

 

Here is an Example

Ryan was installing vinyl siding on a ranch house and was standing on a 12-foot step ladder. The ladder was on some loose gravel and it shifted when he was on the 5th step. He lost his balance and fell and suffered a major head injury.

  1. How could this injury have been avoided?
  2. Do you know anyone who has been hurt while working on a ladder? How could the injury have been avoided?

Preventing Injuries from Improper Use of Ladders

  • Inspect the ladder before every use.
  • Place a portable step ladder so that all feet have secure footing.
  • Always face the ladder when moving up or down.
  • Always have three points of contact with the ladder for proper balance.
  • Never stand on the top step or very top of the ladder.
  • Think about whether there is a safer way to do the work than standing on a ladder.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent the improper use of ladders?

1.____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

2.____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

3.____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

OSHA REGULATIONS: 1926.1053

Graphic of a worker climbing a ladder safely, making three points of contact with the ladder.

  • Place a portable step ladder so that all feet have secure footing.
  • Always face the ladder when moving up or down.
  • Always have three points of contact with the ladder for proper balance.