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Published in April 2012 by the Workplace Safety and Health Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower This

guide may not be reproduced without prior permission. The Workplace Safety and Health Council does not accept any liability or responsibility to any party for losses or damage arising from following this guide. More information at www.wshc.sg or email contact@wshc.sg



A safety initiative by


Over the past few years, more than 10 workers were killed after falling off ladders. Many more were injured. The safe use of ladders is important to protect your safety. This book will show you how.

When Should You Use A Ladder?

When you want to reach a higher area in your work, think about the best equipment to use. While a ladder or stepladder is commonly used, it may not be the best option. Ask yourself these questions before deciding on a ladder: Will I have to hold heavy items while on the ladder? Is the higher area higher than 2 metres and would require a long ladder that can be unstable? Will I be working at height for a long time? Do I have to stand on the ladder sideways in order to work? If your answer is yes to all the above, do not use a normal ladder. If possible, bring in other equipment like a scissor lift. If you have to use a ladder, use one that has a working platform with hand rails barricades at the sides (e.g. a platform step queen ladder). Whenever you use a ladder or a stepladder, take note of the safety tips in this guide. : ? ? ? ?

Base of ladder should be secured.

Wear proper footwear (e.g., non-slip flat shoes). Use the right ladder for the job. For example, the ladder must be high enough for you to reach your work area without having to stand on its top rung.

Ladders used to access another level should be tied and extended at least 1 metre above the landing point to provide a secure handhold. Ensure that the ladder is fully extended before starting work.

Place the ladder on stable and level ground. DO NOT place it on an uneven surface.

Prevent passersby from walking under or near ladders in use by using barriers (e.g., cones) or get your colleague to act as a lookout.

Do not carry any tools or materials in your hands when climbing a ladder.

Do not work on the top rung of the ladder.

Do not lean away from the ladder to carry out your task. Always keep your weight centered between the side rails.

Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times.

Do not use ladders near doorways or windows. If you need to use a ladder near one, make sure that the door (except when its a fire exit) or window is locked. ( )

Check, maintain and store ladders well

Before using a ladder, you should check it carefully to ensure no visible defects and is in a good working condition. Do the checks according to manufacturers instructions. When keeping the ladder after use, you should maintain and store the ladder according to the manufacturers instructions. Do not use faulty ladders such as these: : Do not use the ladder if it is missing any step.

Do not use the ladder if their spreaders do not have a locking device or mechanism. Do not use the ladder if it is bent.

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