Skip main menu

Safety when working on ladders

Many employees are seriously injured when using a ladder at work. Accidents often happen because the ladder slips or falls, or because the ladder is used for work to which it is not suitable. For example, do not work from a ladder if it is too short.

Also, never work with heavy or dangerous machinery from a ladder, as this is dangerous.

Work from ladders also strains the body as it involves inflexible work postures. Therefore, as far as possible use other technical equipment when working at heights, such as rolling scaffolding or lifts. If you need to use a ladder, choose one that is marked DS/EN 131 Professional.

Never use a damaged ladder. Therefore, inspect the ladder before use.
Read below about what to be aware of when using a ladder for work.

Follow the supplier’s instructions for use that must include information about:

  • Slope of ladder
  • Warning against dangerous use Inspection and maintenance
  • Storage
  • Permitted load

Always place the ladder on a horizontal and firm


Illustrationen viser hvor afstanden skal være 1 meter

Ladders set up as access routesmust project at least 1 metreabove the access point and be secured properly. 


When working on a ladder, only use light tools and materials. You must be able to hold on to the ladder or a building component.

The ladder must have a slope of around 75 degrees.


Trestle ladders must be fitted with chains.


When working from a ladder, move the ladder to
where you are working. 


Ladders may only be used for short periods and for light work.

Do not use a ladder for more than 2.5 hours a day and no more than 30 minutes at a time. Do not go higher than the third rung from the top.


Read more about the regulations

Note that we have only highlighted the most important regulations on safety when using ladders. Learn more about the regulations in the WEA Guidelines and Executive Order as well as the MANUAL – Working Environment for Building and Construction prepared by the Sector Council on OSH in the building and construction industry.

Aerial ladders, WEA Guidelines, 1994 (in Danish)
Use of portable ladders, WEA Guidelines, 2005 (in Danish)
Manual: Working Environment for Building and Construction (BFA Bygge & Anlæg)

Any questions?

Contact Arbejdstilsynet
The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA)

Phone hours
Monday - Thursday: 8 - 15
Friday: 8 - 14

+45 70 12 12 88
Press 9 for English