Job-Built Ladders  
(Taken from Construction Safety Association of Ontario Magazine, Winter 2000-2001)  

Construction Safety Association of Ontario

Build safety in from the start

On small projects many falls result from the lack of proper ladders. Accidents are caused by makeshift arrangements for reaching the roof, climbing in or out of foundations, getting from one floor to another, or getting down into basements before stairs are installed.

One solution is the job-built ladder. It can be constructed in single or double width for various uses. The time taken to build the ladder can be recovered in improved safety and efficiency.

Illustration showing how to build a ladder on the job

Wood should be No. 1 grade spruce, straight-grained and free of large knots, sharp edges, splinters, and shakes.

General guidelines for ladder use apply also to job-built ladders.

Only one person at a time should be allowed on a single-width ladder. No more than two people should be allowed on a double-width ladder, each on a separate side.

In some cases, temporary job-built stairs will provide an even better solution to problems with access and the movement of workers and material.


  • Ladders data sheet (DS008)
  • Ladders video (FV012V)
  • Ladders safety tip (TP001)
  • Getting On/Off Ladders safety tip (TP010)
  • Beware of Wires sticker (S020)

This paper appears in the eLCOSH website with the permission of the author and/or copyright holder and may not be reproduced without their consent. eLCOSH is an information clearinghouse. eLCOSH and its sponsors are not responsible for the accuracy of information provided on this web site, nor for its use or misuse.

 eLCOSH | CDC | NIOSH | Site Map | Search | Links | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Other Job Site Trade Hazard Site Map Search Spanish Items Help Links Contact eLCOSH Non-English Materials Training Materials NIOSH Home CDC Home eLCOSH Home