In general, ladders should be used only as a means of access or for light work, and for short durations.
The ladder must be high enough for the worker to reach the work area without having to stand on its top rung. Standing on the top rung of a ladder is highly unsafe and it should never be done.
Check the ladder before use to ensure there are no visible defects and it is in good condition.
Place the ladder on stable and level ground.
Ensure that the ladder is fully extended before starting work.
Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out the task. Keep your weight centred on the steps.
Always maintain three points of contact when working on ladders: for example, two feet and one hand on the ladder.
Source: Workplace Safety and Health Council
May 23, 2011: A worker fell from a ladder (photo) while descending from a warehouse storage rack. It was likely that the worker was reaching to the ladder in order to descend to the warehouse floor. He might have lost his balance when he was trying to secure a good hold on the ladder and fell off the edge of the rack.
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