- The ladder is in good condition.
- Non-slip safety feet are fitted and in good condition.
- The ladder’s height is right for the job – if using an extension ladder, the top of the ladder should extend at least one metre over the top of the surface it is resting on (such as the gutter).
- Place the ladder on dry, firm and level ground – consider using a hard board under the feet of the ladder if the ground is soft to stop it sinking.
- Engage all locks and braces – step ladders should be fully opened.
- Keep the ladder clear of powerlines and exposed electrical wiring.
- The foot of an extension ladder should be placed at a distance from the wall equal to ¼ of the length of the ladder.
- Clear any obstructions or debris and secure any doorways around the work area.
- Wear enclosed, slip-resistant footwear – not sandals or thongs.
- Have someone hold the ladder at the base while you are using it.
- Maintain three points of contact at all times – hold the ladder with both hands as you climb and carry tools in a tool belt.
- Face the ladder at all times.
- Stay in the centre of the ladder as you climb.
- Only climb to the second rung from the top of a step ladder or the third rung from the top of an extension ladder.
- Secure the top of an extension ladder into position before starting work.
- Work within arm's reach from the ladder – keep your waist postioned within the side rails. If you cannot easily reach, climb down and reposition the ladder.
- Always hold the ladder with open hand. Be careful when pulling items from shelves/gutters/roofs as this may cause you to lose your balance.