How to Erect a Step Ladder Safely

Written by c.l. rease
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How to Erect a Step Ladder Safely
Setting up a step ladder correctly ensures a safe job while working off the ground. (Ron Levine/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Correctly setting up a step ladder increases the chances of you completing a project safely. This includes reading and obeying all warning labels affixed to the sides of the step ladder and ensuring the stability of the ladder before climbing to your working height. Common information listed on a safety ladder includes the ladder's weight limit, proper working techniques and working height limit. Ignoring any of the label information can lead to serious injury or death.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Remove debris from the area in which you need to use the step ladder. Inspect the work area for drop offs or ledges that would increase your falling distance if the ladder should fall.

  2. 2

    Set the feet of the ladder on the ground. Pull the sides of the apart until the slide braces sit in the locked position. Ensure both braces are in the locked position.

  3. 3

    Move the step ladder into position. Adjust the ladder to place all four feet of the step ladder firmly on the floor.

  4. 4

    Step on the lowest rang of the ladder. Shake the ladder gently ensure it remains stable.

  5. 5

    Climb the ladder no higher than the second to last rang to maintain your balance and to keep the ladder stable.

  6. 6

    Close the ladder when you complete your work. Store the ladder in an area away from direct ultraviolet light between uses.

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