Ladder 101: Back to the Basics - Core Safety, LLC
Core Safety Group

Ladder 101: Back to the Basics

Posted: March 22, 2017 Tags:

Sometimes, the most dangerous errors can be traced back to basic safety protocol.

The American Ladder Institute has declared March “National Ladder Safety Month,” and CORE Safety Group is dedicated to ensuring that our team holds and shares the most ­up-to-date and relevant tactics for effective safety training.

Below are key points to remember when using a ladder:

1. Choose the right fit. When choosing a ladder, you should know two things: your total weight and the project’s height.

To figure out the total amount of weight your ladder will need to support, add the following weights: You + your clothing and protective equipment + tools and supplies you are carrying or storing on ladder

This weight calculation will tell you what Duty Rating your ladder will need, Type IAA, IA, I, II or III. The Duty Rating is found on the specification label on the side of your ladder.

Once your know your project’s height, a sticker on the side of the ladder will indicate the highest standing level, which will tell you whether you need a larger or smaller ladder. When an extension ladder is in use, it should extend 3 feet above the working surface. Remember, there is no relationship between ladder length and weight capacity.

2. Use the “three-point” rule when working with extension ladders.

While you are working on, ascending, or descending the ladder, always face the ladder, and have either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder to minimize the likelihood of a fall.

3. 4:1 Ratio

A straight ladder should be placed against the wall so that the base of the ladder is one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height. So a 16 foot extension ladder should be 4 feet out from the wall at the base.

4. Ensure safe ladder use with “ISSUE”

  • Inspect the ladder before using.
  • Stabilize the ladder on firm, level ground.
  • Stay off the ladder during inclement weather.
  • Use slip-resistant shoes and follow the three-point rule.
  • Educate yourself with reading materials before using new equipment.

To learn more about ladder safety training, or other trainings that CORE offers, call 888.250.1830 or visit us at

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