Do's and Don'ts - Safe Use of Stepladders

Workers who use ladders in construction are at risk of injury from falls and, where electrical current is present, electrocution. To eliminate this risk or substantially reduce it, it’s important to follow good safety practices. Here are examples of what workers may find when working on stepladders.


Employers and workers must be trained to recognize ladder-related hazards from large to small ones. One of the common hazards that can be avoided is to identify a damaged stepladder. A competent person must visually inspect ladders on a periodic basis and find signs of visible defects. Defects could be a split or bent side rail, broken or missing steps or cleats and damaged safety devices.

Loading ladders being used beyond the rated weight load can be a huge hazard. Be sure to use a stepladder that can sustain at least four times the maximum intended load. To determine the correct ladder, consider your weight plus the weight of your load. Do not exceed the load rating and always include the weight of all tools, materials and equipment.


Take time to read and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and labels on your stepladder. A few Do’s to follow for safely using stepladder:

  • Look for overhead power lines before handling or climbing a stepladder
  • Keep stepladder free of any slippery materials
  • Only put stepladder on a stable and level surface


  • Do not use a folded stepladder as a single ladder
  • Do not use a stepladder with spreaders unlocked
  • Do not move or shift a ladder with a person or equipment on the ladder
  • Do not use a stepladder horizontally like a platform
  • Do not use a metal stepladder near power lines or electrical equipment

Easy Access Step Ladder Training

At Easy Access we offer scaffolding safety training and evaluation thoughout New Zealand. We ensure that our products are used efficiently and safely from the set up to when they are being used. If you're looking to buy ladders or step ladders be sure to view our Ladder Buyers Guide.