Using a Step Ladder? Here are Some Tips!

Little Giant Ladder Systems is the safety and innovation leader in climbing systems and professional access equipment. With a myriad of instructional videos, safety equipment and articles, we’ve fought hard to arm our customers with the best ladder safety tips. Here are a few more stepladder tips to make sure you’re handling your stepladder safely and properly.

But let's start with the basics. What is a stepladder? In the simplest terms, a stepladder is a short folding ladder with flat steps and a small platform. It’s the smallest of ladders and is typically used in smaller projects that don't require a lot of extra height.

What Are Some Stepladder Safety Tips?

One of the leading causes of occupational injuries and fatalities is falling from ladders. So, when climbing, be sure to follow these tips:
  • Follow all labels/markings found on the ladder.
  • Avoid placing ladder near electrical hazards.
  • Inspect the ladder before use.
  • If the ladder is damaged, don’t use it.
  • Maintain three points of contact on the ladder whenever climbing. This means placing either two hands and a foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.
  • Only use the ladder for its designed purposes.
  • Place the ladder on stable and level ground, avoiding slippery and uneven surfaces.
  • Never stand on the top rung.
  • Don’t place ladder on unstable bases such as boxes or barrels.
  • Don’t move the ladder while someone is using it.
  • Make sure locks are engaged when in use.
  • Don’t exceed the maximum load rating.

What Sizes Do Stepladders Come In?

Stepladders range in size from 4 ft. to 20 ft. in length. Stepladders shorter than 4 ft. are considered step stools. The highest standing level on a stepladder is slightly more than 2 ft. from the top of the ladder. The Little Giant Safety Step™ is a small step stool option that’s available in 2, 3, and 4-step sizes. The Safety Step is a unique combination of strength and simplicity, and is constructed with super-strong, lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum. Its wide, slip-resistant steps give you unmatched comfort and stability. The Safety Step operates so easily that you can open and close it with one hand. Its slim storage depth (5 ½ inches) will let you store it just about anywhere. It’s also made for professional and industrial use. In fact, the Safety Step is rated to hold up to 300 lbs. on each step. This tough, compact step stool can handle just about any task, from the lightest house chore to the heaviest industrial job. We also offer 5-8’ Type 1A stepladders, 24-in-1 Heavy Duty 17’ ladders, 22’ stepladders and more. Check out all our stepladder options here. 

What is Considered the Safe Use of Stepladders?

The proper use of a stepladder includes:
  • Level ground support for all legs of the ladder
  • Fully open base
  • Spreaders locked
  • Mount the ladder from the middle, not the side or step from one ladder to another in a sideways motion
  • Always face the ladder and maintain a firm hold when climbing
  • Don’t attempt to carry other objects while climbing
  • Never step on the top rung of the ladder

Working safely on a stepladder doesn't have to be complicated. To learn more about ladder safety, check out Little Giant's safety page.