The angle of the ladder should ideally be 75° to the horizontal, or at a ratio of 1:4 distance away from the wall to height (1 out 4 up).
Rules for Ladder Safety
- Pick the right ladder for the job you are going to do.
- Make sure the ladder is in good condition.
- Set up the ladder correctly.
- Work safely on the ladder.
With a straight ladder, walk it into position hand over hand. Make sure the base is solid. Tie the top if you can. A straight ladder should be placed against the wall at an angle so that the base of the ladder is one foot away from the wall for every four feet of height.
You can remember this formula as the “four up, one out” rule. So a 16-foot extension ladder should be 4 feet out from the wall at the base.
A stepladder should be locked into a fully-open position before you attempt to use it. Raising an extension ladder is a two-person job. There should be a considerable overlap between each section.
If the ground is uneven, utilize boards or other methods to ensure the ladder has even ground to stand on. For soft turf or other mushy surfaces, you can turn the feet up on the ladder to make spikes so it will be stable on the ground.
When using a ladder to gain access to a roof, place the ladder so that it extends at least three feet above the edge. Usually, you can just count the rungs to estimate 3 feet.