A non-self-supporting ladder should have a set-up angle of about 75 degrees — a 4:1 ratio of the ladder’s working length to set-back distance.
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand at the base of the ladder with your toes touching the rails.
- Extend your arms straight out in front of you. If the tips of your finger just touch the rung nearest your shoulder level, the angle of your ladder has a 4:1 ratio.
Climb Safely – Use Three-Point-Control
Three-point-control vs. three-point-contact positioning: The three-point-control technique requires a worker to use any three of his or her four limbs for reliable, stable support. Another requirement when using the three-point-control technique is that the hands must grasp the horizontal rung of the ladder. A horizontal grip allows the worker to hold their bodyweight and prevent a fall: the vertical grip will not.
The three-point-contact technique is not recommended for positioning because it only requires that any three body parts, not just hands or feet, must contact the ladder to maintain stability.
The three-point-control technique is the best method because the worker has both feet on the ladder and is gripping a horizontal rung, so they are much less likely to fall then if the hand is gripping a vertical rail or another body part is merely resting on a part of the ladder. Remember, when climbing:
- keep both feet at the same level, and
- maintain a horizontal one-hand grip (power grip) with fingers wrapped around the rung of the ladder.