Just as it’s important to pay attention while climbing and descending a ladder, it is important to follow safety rules while working on the ladder:
• Don’t stand on the top step or top cap. If you feel the need to stand on the top cap of your ladder to reach your project, you are not using the right ladder for the job. Standing on the top step, top cap, or straddling the top of the ladder is very dangerous and can easily lead to a loss of balance.
One of the most common mistakes made by ladder users is choosing the wrong ladder for the job.
You should always consider the length of the ladder you need for each job. It is unsafe to use a ladder that is too long or too short.
• Maintain Three Points of Contact. When working at the top of a ladder — just as you do when you are climbing — it is important to maintain three points of contact with the ladder. When working, this typically means having both feet firmly planted on the ladder, with a hand or your knees resting on the ladder for stability.
• Don’t overreach. When you don’t maintain three points of contact, you are more likely to overreach. When you overreach, your ladder is more likely to lose balance. You should always keep the center of your stomach between the ladder side rails.