When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize three points-of-contact to minimize the chance of slipping and falling from the ladder. At all times during ascent, descent and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails.
Here's some instruction from the American Ladder Institute on the recommended three-point-of-contact method of climbing ladders:
- Wear slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles to prevent foot fatigue
- Clean the soles of shoes to maximize traction
- Use towlines, a tool belt or an assistant to convey materials so the climbers hands are free when climbing
- Climb slowly and deliberately while avoiding sudden movements
- Never attempt to move a ladder while standing on it
- Keep the center of your belt buckle (stomach) between the ladder side rails while climbing and working. Do not overreach or lean while working.