Ladder Safety: Positioning and Using the Ladder

Ladders are a commonly used tool at self-storage facilities. Beyond choosing the right ladder initially, facility owners and managers should know and implement sound ladder usage, including proper ladder positioning.

Ladder Positioning

Take a look at the area where you want to set up the ladder. Make sure that there is clear space around the bottom of the ladder, keeping in mind the Four-to-One Rule for straight and extension ladders. Also make sure that the area around the top of the ladder is clear, paying special attention to avoid power lines or other potentially hazardous obstacles.

Get help carrying ladders that are particularly heavy or long.

Place the ladder on even, solid ground. Avoid using a ladder on slippery surfaces and steer clear of areas with surface ice or water. Avoid placing a ladder on uneven ground, and never place a ladder on boxes, pallets, truck beds or other unstable surfaces.

It is generally not advisable to place a ladder in a hallway or doorway, although it may not be avoidable because of the building design. If you must place a ladder in a hallway or doorway, set out caution signage a few feet away from each side of the ladder to ensure that no one inadvertently walks into or knocks over the ladder.

Using the Ladder

If using a step ladder, open it until it locks firmly. When using an extension ladder, make sure that it is locked or tied off securely.

Make sure you are wearing proper footwear before climbing a ladder. You should be wearing sturdy, closed-toe shoes with non-skid soles.

Climb the ladder one rung at a time, placing both hands on the side rails. Keep your hands free by carrying tools in a tool belt or by hoisting them in a bucket.

When descending the ladder, place both hands on the side rails and step down carefully one rung at a time.

MiniCo Ladder Safety Video

See our ladder safety video to learn and share basic ladder safety rules.

You can also test your knowledge of ladder safety: take the quiz!

See all of our self-storage safety videos here.

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