Use Three Points-of-Contact to Reduce Falls from Ladders
When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize three points-of-contact to minimize the chance of slipping and falling from the ladder. At all times during ascent, descent and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails.
Tips for Safely Climbing a Ladder
Here’s some instruction from the American Ladder Institute on preventing falls from ladders by using the recommended three-point-of-contact method of climbing:
- Wear slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent foot fatigue
- Clean the soles of shoes to maximize traction
- Use towlines, a tool belt or an assistant to convey materials so the climbers hands are free when climbing
- Climb slowly and deliberately while avoiding sudden movements
- Never attempt to move a ladder while standing on it
- Keep the center of your belt buckle (stomach) between the ladder side rails while climbing and working. Do not overreach or lean while working.
Following these tips will help a climber stay stable if one limb slips during the climb. Climbers should not carry any objects that can interfere with a firm grip on the ladder, or the three points-of-contact will be lost.
- Visit the American Ladder Institute.
- Visit the OSHA Ladder Safety site.
- Read construction fall-prevention safety tips.
- Browse Ladder and Scaffold safety signs.
Ladder safety signs like this one help keep safety top-of-mind for workers who routinely use ladders, and may have become complacent about ladder safety.