OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >

Download the free OSH Answers app
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Search all fact sheets:

Type a word, a phrase, or ask a question

Ladders - Securing Portable

How do you secure portable ladders?

  • Rest the top of the ladder against a solid surface that can withstand the load. Do not let the top of the ladder rest on a gutter, window sash, window pane, or anything that can break or move.
  • Use wall grips on the risers to prevent side slipping when a ladder is leaning against a smooth surface.
  • 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. If a barricade is not possible, have someone hold and guard the bottom of the ladder.
  • 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.
  • Test the ladder to verify that it is secure.

Document last updated on September 28, 2016

Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions.


Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.