Safety Flash: Serious Injury

Incident Description: As a BSIM technician was ascending an extension ladder that was placed against a telephone pole, the ladder twisted causing the technician to lose his balance and fall. Investigation revealed that the ladder was at an improper angle and the ladder strap was attached incorrectly.

Injuries / Property Damage: The technician fractured his foot in two places.

Prevention: When placing a ladder against a pole, ensure that the ladder is on firm and level footing and at the proper angle. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment and maintain the three point contact method while climbing- -keeping one hand and both feet, or both hands and one foot in contact with the ladder at all times while ascending and descending the ladder.

Secure the Bottom of the Extension or Combination Ladder to the pole as follows:

  • Attach bottom ladder strap around side rail below the fifth rung.
  • Wrap the bottom ladder strap around the pole one and one-half times, crossing over itself on the backside of the pole.
  • Attach the free end to the other side rail below the fifth rung.
  • Draw up on both ends of the bottom ladder strap until it becomes tight.
  • Test the ladder for stability by ascending to the fourth rung from the ground and rocking the ladder.
  • Remove any slack from the bottom ladder strap and repeat until ladder is secure.


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