Ladder safety is something we don't think much about. Improperly using a ladder can be harmful to your health if you don't follow safely precautions. Worn or improperly used ladders cause hundreds of thousands of serious injuries each year. To stay safe, make sure your ladder has slip resistant rungs and feet. Inspect it for cracked uprights, split rungs or loose rivets.

When you are using an extension ladder, make sure the bottom is pulled away from the wall by at least one quarter of the height you need to work at. Never stand on the top rung of any type of ladder.  Don't try to climb a ladder with your arms overloaded. If you have to reach when on the ladder, for proper ladder safety, first move the ladder so that you don't have to over-extend yourself or your balance. 

Although it seems like just common sense and most people take this step for granted, be sure that stepladders are securely spread open and locked.  Also, be aware that electrical shock is possible and dangerous, with both metal or wet wooden ladders.  By taking time for just a few precautionary ladder safety steps, you'll be on your way to a job safely done.

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Ladder Safety

Another good rule of thumb is when using an extension ladder to climb onto a roof, extend the ladder at least four (4) rungs (steps) above the roof, which gives the ladder more stability and leeway to stay above the roof should the top move while you are using the ladder.

Also, having someone (preferably heavier than you) stand on the bottom step if you are going to be high up on the ladder, assists stability. Having a second person present in the event of a problem, is good sfety practice too.

One final tip: if the ladder will be set up on unstable ground, placing the base of the ladder against an imovable object, such as the tire of a car (with a sufficiently sized board between the ladder base and the tire to prevent tire damage) greatly assits stability.