Are you using an extension ladder in your next project? Our latest blog post includes a few tips on extension ladder safety that are important to review each time you use an extension ladder. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about extension ladders and how to properly use one for your next project.

What is an extension ladder?

An extension ladder is a system that operates on two sections using brackets/guides that adjust the length of the ladder.

The Rules of Extension Ladder Safety

  1. Do an Inspection of your Extension Ladder

Always inspect your ladder. For an extension ladder inspection, make sure the ropes and pulleys are functioning correctly and that the rope isn’t frayed. Check the ladder’s fly to make sure it’s in good condition. Check the welding and riveting is secure.

  1. Keep Your Body Between the Rails of the Extension Ladder

When climbing your ladder, stay between the rungs. Leaning to one side can cause the ladder to move, knocking the operator to the ground. If the leaning causes the bottom of the ladder to move just one inch, that little bit results in the top of the ladder moving a foot or more.

  1. Use the Extension Ladder on Level Ground

Only use your ladder on leveled ground. If there is uneven ground, use either a leveler or find a way to make the ground level.

The Don’t of Extension Ladder Safety

Every ladder system has certain safety requirements and extension ladders are no exception. Here are a few things you should avoid:

  • Do not overextend the extension ladder.
  • Do not climb higher than the fourth rung near the top of the ladder.
  • Keep extension ladders at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Never set up or take down the extension ladder while it’s extended.
  • Don’t use on un-level surfaces such as ice, snow, or slippery surfaces.
  • Don’t “bounce” on the ladder.
  • Don’t leave unattended.
  • Only use the ladder after it has been fully inspected by a trained professional.

Follow these tips and safely use your extension ladder. For more information about ladder safety, check out our in-depth safety page.