Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Ladder Safety

Ladders are a simple and common tool used in most workplaces;however, they do pose a hazard if used inappropriately or incorrectly. There are over 24,000 injuries each year in construction-type activities related to falls from stairways and/or ladders! Of those injuries, more than 11,000 result in lost days of work, and believe it or not - about 36 of them are fatalities. Common types of injuries from falls involving ladders include fractures, sprains, strains, cuts, and punctures.

Violations related to ladders cited by OSHA for 2005 and 2006 put ladders in the top 10 most cited violations for these years. The top five violations for both years were:

  • Failure to extend the ladder side rails at least three feet above the upper landing surface to which the ladder is used to gain access.
  • Using ladders for the purpose other than for which they were designed.
  • Using the top or top step of a stepladder as a step.
  • Failure to mark portable ladders with structural defects in a manner readily identifying them as defective, or withdrawing them from service until repaired.
  • Failure to use ladders on stable and level surfaces.

Departments and supervisors must make sure that ladders are in good condition and used properly by employees!

Ladder Safety Online

View information on ladder design, inspection, and safe work practices here.


Contact Information

Robin McCall-Miller, Occ. Safety Engineer