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The 3 points of contact rule of ladder safety


Extension LadderEveryone slips and falls sometimes. But some accidents can be more serious than others.

The 3 points of contact rule was invented to reduce the chances of you falling from a ladder – and at Browns Ladders, we take it very seriously.
It’s very simple.

It’s a time-tested method and essentially instructs you to keep at least three of your four limbs in contact with a ladder at all times– two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand.

This system allows the person to have maximum stability and support, thereby reducing the likelihood of slipping and falling.

The three points of contact rule:


1. Wear suitable footwear: something silly like sandals or bare foot just won’t cut it.

2. Make sure you clean dirt or anything slippery from your shoes.

3. Put ladder legs on solid, even ground.

4. Centre your body between the rails when you are climbing and face the ladder at all times.

5. Don’t hold the rails if possible – hold the rungs! Holding the rungs give you much better control if your foot slips.

6. Use extra caution when alighting the ladder: such as checking for any ground obstacles.

7. Make sure your hands are free. Try attaching your tools or materials to the ladder itself. Heavier loads should be raised and lowered separately using a pulley system.


1. Don’t try to move ladders while standing on them.

2. Never overreach to the side: keep yourself centred at all times.

3. Don’t jump off a ladder: You might land on an uneven surface and you might strain yourself.

4. Never move too quickly: This often violates the 3 points of contact rule of ladder safety. Be conscious about maintaining your 3 points of contact at all times.

5. Don’t overload the ladder: Take the ladder load ratings into consideration – such as the weight of any equipment you use.

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