A construction site worker climbing a ladder

Ladder Inspections

Ladders are more dangerous than you might think. In 2010, 20% of all fatal falls occurred from ladders (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Ladders should always be inspected prior to any work taking place. Check OSHA Standards for the type of ladder you are using and use only UL-approved ladders.

We have listed a few things to look for when inspecting your ladder that if implemented, will help to keep you safe:

  • Make sure your ladder is free of defects and slipping hazards.
  • Are joints between steps and side rails tight?
  • Are all hardware and fittings securely attached?
  • Are moveable parts operating freely without force?
  • When using a portable ladder, are nonslip safety feet provided on each rung?
  • Does the ladder have any broken, cracked or worn steps or rungs?
  • Does the ladder have any loose nails, screws, bolts or other metal parts?
  • Is the ladder wobbly?
  • Are there any loose or broken hinges?
  • Any broken extension locks?
  • If your ladder has rope, make sure the rope is not worn or rotted.
  • If using a portable metal ladder, make sure it is clearly marked “Caution – Do not use around electrical equipment” or equivalent wording.
  • Are ladder rungs and steps free of grease, oil, paint, snow or ice?

Any ladder that has any type of defect or slipping hazard should immediately be marked “Do Not Use” and removed from the workplace until proper repairs are made.


This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.

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