Beautification Time on the Farm

Lisa Pfeifer – OSU Ag Safety and Health Education Coordinator

Summer tasks on the farm often include getting a fresh coat of paint on the barn. If painting is on the summer to-do list at your farm, make sure to review some ladder safety basics with your kids or employees that will be reaching new heights.

  • Ascend and descend facing the ladder
  • Maintain 3 points of contact (2 feet and a hand or 2 hands and a foot) when on a ladder
  • Know the load limit of the ladder in use
  • Seek a solid, level base to set the ladder
  • Use a fiberglass ladder when working around any electrical sources
  • Locate a ladder away from entrance/exit doors or be sure the doors are locked or blocked while a ladder is present
  • Keep your center of gravity between the ladder supports, do not lean to the side
  • Never place a foot on another adjacent surface to extend your reach
  • Move a ladder to avoid overreaching
  • Place extension ladders at a 4 to 1 ratio: for every 4 feet of ladder the base should be one foot away from the vertical support surface
  • Avoid areas with overhead power lines and keep all ladders at least 10 feet away from energized lines
  • Keep ladders free of slippery materials
  • Do not stand on the top three rungs of an extension ladder
  • Ensure the top of the ladder extends 3 feet above the upper landing surface when used to gain access to that landing
  • Materials should not be carried in hands while climbing, use of a tool belt or pulley system is recommended

For more information about OSU Ag Safety visit or contact Lisa Pfeifer, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at or 614-292-9455.