Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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How do you secure portable ladders?

  • Rest the top of the ladder against a solid surface that can withstand the load.
  • Attach a ladder stay across the back of a ladder where a surface cannot stand the load. Extend the stay across a window for firm support against the building walls or window frame.
  • Guard or fence off the area around a ladder erected in an area where persons have access.
  • Secure the ladder firmly at the top to prevent it from slipping sideways or the foot from slipping outwards.
  • Brace or tie off the ladder near the base. If there is no structure to the tie off to, use a stake in the ground.
Attaching Ladder Stay
Attach hooks
Ladder with non-slip feet
  • Attach hooks on top of ladder rails where ladder is to be used at a constant height.
  • Do not rest a ladder on any rung. Only the side rails are designed for this purpose.
  • Secure the base of a ladder to prevent accidental movement. Securing a ladder at the foot does not prevent a side slip at the top.
  • Use ladders equipped with non-slip feet. Otherwise nail a cleat to the floor or anchor the feet or bottom of the side rails.
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Document last updated on September 30, 2010

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