Ladder Safety

The world of safety compliance should not be confusing. These are in place to maintain a safe workplace. This week we are going to look at ladder safety. A ladder is defined as a portable structure with a series of steps or bars that allow a person to climb or stand upon while gaining access to an upper level. The OSHA standard is 29CFR1926.1053 and 29CFR1910.23.

  • Both portable and fixed ladders must be inspected before each use by the user.
  • Any structural defects that would interfere with safe use such as broken or missing
    rungs, cleats or steps, broken or split sides, or any other item shall require the ladder to be immediately removed from service.
  • Step or folding ladders are required to be fully opened, with the spreader locks down for all use. These ladders are never to be used in the closed position.
  • Extension ladders shall have a minimum overlap of three rungs on the fly and
    the base.
  • On the extension ladders, the fly must have a positive stop to prevent accidental separation.
  • The dawgs and stops are to be secured over the rung before using any extension ladder.
  • Extension ladders are to be setup with a height to base ratio of 4:1.
  • All ladders used for work on or around electricity are required to be non-conductive.
  • On a step ladder, the top step and top cap are prohibited from being used.
  • Ladders are only to be used in the manner of which they were designed and
    cannot be used in any other manner such as lying flat, closed position, etc.
  • Ladders are not to be used on slippery surfaces or where they could be accidentally displaced or slide out.
  • The area around the top and bottom of the ladder must be kept clear as to provide no trip hazards while accessing the ladder.
  • Corner gusset bracing must be intact and cannot be broken as they are part of
    the integrity of the ladder.
  • Ladders should be Type I, 250 lb. weight rating minimum for construction activities. Type IA is rated for 300 lbs., and a Type IAA is rated for 375 lbs.
  • Type II ladders offer a 225 lb. weight rating and Type III ladders offer a 200 lb. weight rating. Type II and III are commonly residential type ladders.
  • Ladders cannot be moved while occupied.
  • Any ladder repairs must place the ladder back to its original structural integrity
    and also as designed.
  • Employees must maintain three points of contact while climbing up or down the ladder and shall face the ladder at all times.
  • The midline of the employee is not to overreach past the side rails of the ladder.