Don’t carry an extension ladder more than 16 feet in section length and weighing more than 40 pounds by yourself. Never “walk” a ladder to another location by carrying it while open. This not only makes carrying more difficult, but can injure your back. Don’t carry a ladder by yourself if you don’t feel comfortable.
Proper technique should be followed when carrying a ladder to avoid injury to yourself, other people or objects. Be aware of obstacles in your surroundings when you carry a ladder. Move slowly, especially if you're not used to using a ladder, and follow these steps.
Place the closed ladder sideways on the ground with the rungs facing you. The top of the ladder should be to your left and bottom to your right.
Stand next to the rung which is about one-third up the ladder from the bottom end. The longer the ladder, the closer you'll have to stand to the middle rung in order to maintain balance.
Turn your body left so it's at a right angle to the ladder facing toward the top end. Bend at the knees without bending or leaning with your back. Grab the outside rail with your right hand. If the ladder is too heavy to carry with one hand, grab the inside rail with your left hand at the same time
Lift the ladder using your knees, not your back. If it feels like too much weight is tipping toward the front or back, set the ladder down and move a little closer to the end that feels more weighted before trying to lift again. Keep arms fully extended while carrying.
Use your feet to turn, not your waist. Before turning, check for obstacles at each end.
Lisa Weinstein is an award-winning, California-based journalist specializing in education. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications. She holds a California English teaching credential and uses her classroom experience to add depth to her writing.