Straight ladder inclined angle in a field environment: the relationship among actual angle, method of set-up and knowledge

Wen Ruey Chang, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Chien Chi Chang, Christopher Brunette, Nils Fallentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Ladder inclined angle is a critical factor that could lead to a slip at the base of portable straight ladders, a major cause of falls from heights. Despite several methods established to help workers achieve the recommended 75.5° angle for ladder set-up, it remains unclear if these methods are used in practice. This study explored ladder set-up behaviours in a field environment. Professional installers of a company in the cable and other pay TV industry were observed for ladder set-up at their worksites. The results showed that the actual angles of 265 ladder set-ups by 67 participants averaged 67.3° with a standard deviation of 3.22°. Although all the participants had training on recommended ladder set-up methods, only 3 out of 67 participants applied these methods in their daily work and even they failed to achieve the desired 75.5° angle. Therefore, ladder set-up remains problematic in real-world situations. Practitioner Summary: Professional installers of a cable company were observed for portable straight ladder set-up at their worksites. The ladder inclined angle averaged 67.3° with a standard deviation of 3.22°, while the recommended angle is 75.5°. Only a few participants used the methods that they learned during training in their daily work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1100-1108
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2 2016



  • Ladder set-up
  • angle measurement
  • extension ladder
  • field study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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