Skip to content

Ladder Inspection Toolbox Talk

Learn how to ensure ladder safety with a thorough ladder inspection and what to do when someone is hurt from falling off a ladder.

Ladder Inspection Safety Talk

The use of ladders is needed on all job sites big and small throughout the United States. There are a variety of job types that employees will need to use ladders for. Not just at work but for home use as well! There are many reports of injuries and fatalities that are endured when using a ladder.

Every year there is an average of 165,000 home ladder injuries, 20,000 worker ladder injuries, and 150 worker fatalities caused by ladder-related incidents. People should regularly inspect a ladder before they use one. Ladder inspections are just one of the many ways that you can avoid a ladder injury or fatality from occurring!

How To Inspect A Ladder

Every ladder is different and may require its own set of regulations for inspections. There are a variety of types of ladders that you can choose from depending on the job that you are doing. The workplace that you are working for may have its own set of rules of what you are supposed to do in addition to the manufacturer's recommendations.

The initial use of a new one should be carefully inspected and all guidelines should be followed. Some of the helpful things that you should follow are:

  • Look for obvious damage or malfunctions

  • Check for sharp or jagged edges that could cause harm or injuries

  • Ensure you are on level ground before beginning to climb up the ladder

  • Check to make sure the ladder is sturdy when extended for use

  • Inspect for missing pieces or items that may be loose and not in the correct positioning

  • Look over the feet and pads of the ladder to ensure they are in proper running condition

  • Ensure that all steps and rungs are secure

  • Make sure all parts and functioning properly before climbing

  • All tags and labels should be visible when using a ladder

  • You should never put tape or paint over issues with a ladder

Help improve ladder inspections and improve your safety documentation with our Ladder Inspection Checklist.

Always Inspect The Worksite

In addition to ladder inspections, when you are getting ready to work in an area, you should always do a general overlook of the area. Ensure that the grounds are safe and suitable for what you are going to be doing. You don’t want to put any of your employees or yourself in immediate danger.

This step is just as important as the inspection you do on the ladder. Some of the main areas that you should pay close attention to are:

Overhead Power Lines

There is an astonishing number of workers that are injured or killed from overhead power lines each year. Checking the worksite and making note of where power lines are and if they are going to be too close to the worker while on a ladder is very important. It can be a scenario of life or death.

The Terrain The Ladder Will Be Placed On

When you are climbing a ladder or up on a ladder working, you should always be on flat sturdy ground. When it is not able to be done, some type of anchoring or a person spotting you from below should be present. Any type of loose, soft, or slippery conditions that the ladder is sitting on could end in an employee being hurt.

The Point That Needs To Be Accessed

Using the correct type, size, and kind of ladder for the job that you are performing is very important. The heights of the job that is needing to be done should be measured prior to the beginning of the job. This can ensure that you have the right equipment for the job that is needing to be done and the employee performing the job is doing it as safely as possible.

Moving Equipment Or People

When someone is up on a ladder working, there should be someone below or signs noting that people should stay clear. Having moving people or animals below can result in someone getting hurt or accidentally moving the ladder. Moving cars and heavy equipment should not be near an area that someone is climbing and working on a ladder either.

construction worker inspecting a ladder on the jobsite.

How To Safely Use A Ladder

It may seem very easy and basic, but one wrong move on a ladder can result in injuries. You should always make sure you are educated in the correct usage before using a ladder. Some of the ladder safety best practices are:

  1. Always follow the manufacturer instructions that are provided to you with the ladder and read the labels.

  2. You should always climb up a ladder while facing the steps, and the same for going back down.

  3. Make sure the steps are dry before you begin climbing and never use them when there is a chance of slipping.

  4. Have signs, barricades, or someone standing at the bottom of the ladder letting passers know that you are up on the ladder. Making it to where they can’t get too close and chance knocking it.

  5. Ladders should always be placed on a level, sturdy, and stable grounds to avoid injuries.

  6. Two hands and one foot should always be in contact with the ladder at all times.

  7. Always check for overhead power lines and how close that you are to them.

What To Do If Someone Falls From A Ladder On The Job

People and workers get hurt every day from falling from a ladder. It is something that sometimes can happen, even in the safest of situations. There are hazards that apply to jobs and caution should be taken with those types of jobs. Employees who work in an area that accidents, injuries, and fatalities could happen should have some basic knowledge of what to do.

Basic First Aid

If employees knew basic first aid steps and knowledge, they could be of assistance to someone until emergency personnel arrives. Some of the many things that they could assist with are:

  • Bandaging minor cuts and scrapes

  • How to help someone who is in shock

  • What to do if someone is poisoned

  • How to help when someone is burned

  • How to perform CPR

  • How to stop bleeding

  • What to do if someone gets electrocuted

  • What an Epi-Pen is and how to use one

This is particularly important for everyone to have some basic knowledge on, you never know if they are going to be the only one around when something happens. All employees should also know the chain of command when an emergency or accident happens. Such as who to call first and what their responsibilities are in the situation.

Find and schedule topics faster

Raken's toolbox talk app makes it easy to choose from a pre-loaded library (or upload your own), then schedule and assign topics for any project. We'd love to show you how in a demo, and get you started on a free trial.

Download a PDF of this toolbox talk

We use cookies to manage and improve your website experience.