THE OFFICIAL OSHA STANDARDS FOR LADDER SAFETY
General. The following requirements apply to all specified ladders, including factory-made ladders.
Ladders must be able to carry the following loads without failure:
Any self-supporting portable ladder: At least 4 times the maximum design load, except that for extra-heavy duty, each Type 1A metal or plastic ladder must withstand at least 3.3 times the maximum design load. The ability of a ladder to withstand the loads specified in this paragraph shall be determined by applying or transferring the required load vertically downwards on the ladder. Ladders constructed and tested in accordance with the applicable provisions of Appendix A of this subclause are deemed to meet this requirement.
Any portable ladder that is not self-supporting: At least four times the maximum design load, except that any extra-heavy-duty Type 1A metal or plastic ladder must withstand at least 3.3 times the maximum design load. The ability of a ladder to withstand the loads specified in this paragraph shall be determined by applying or transferring the required load in a vertical direction downward on the ladder when the ladder is erected at an angle of 75 1/2 degrees to the horizontal . Ladders constructed and tested in accordance with the applicable provisions of Annex A meet this requirement.
Each Fixed Ladder: At least two loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, concentrated between two consecutive attachments (the number and location of additional concentrated loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, determined by the intended use of the ladder, must also be included ), plus anticipated loads from ice build-up, wind, rigging and shock loads from the use of ladder restraints. Each step or rung must be capable of supporting a single concentrated load of at least 250 pounds (114 kg) applied to the center of the step or rung. Ladders constructed in accordance with the applicable provisions of Annex A are deemed to conform to these requirements.
The rungs, cleats and steps of ladders shall be parallel, level and evenly spaced when the ladder is in the position of use.
Rungs, cleats and steps of portable ladders (except as noted below) and fixed ladders (including ladders with single rungs/steps) must be at least 25 cm (10 inches) and no more than 36 cm (14 inches) apart. apart, measured between the center lines of the rungs, cleats and steps.
Step stool rungs, cleats and steps shall be no less than 20 cm (8 inches) and no more than 31 cm (12 inches) apart measured between the center lines of the rungs, cleats and steps.
The rungs, cleats and steps of the base section of telescoping double ladders shall be no less than 20 cm (8 inches) and no more than 46 cm (18 inches) apart measured between the center lines of the rungs, cleats and steps. The rung spacing on the extension section of the extending double ladder shall be no less than 6 inches (15 cm) and no more than 12 inches (31 cm) measured between the center lines of the rungs, cleats and steps.
The minimum clearance between the sides of single rung/step ladders and the minimum clearance between the side rails of other fixed ladders must be 16 inches (41 cm).
The minimum clearance between side rails for all portable ladders must be 11 1/2 inches (29 cm).
The rungs of single rung/step ladders must be shaped in such a way that the workers' feet cannot slip off the ends of the rungs.
The rungs and steps of fixed metal ladders manufactured after March 15, 1991 must be knurled, knurled, knobbed, coated with non-slip material, or otherwise treated to minimize slipping.
The rungs and steps of portable metal ladders must be ribbed, knurled, knobbed, coated with non-slip material, or otherwise treated to minimize slipping.
Ladders should not be tied or fastened into longer sections unless specifically designed for such use.
Each stepladder shall have a metal spreader or locking device to hold the front and rear in an open position when the ladder is in use.
When splicing is required to obtain a particular length of side rail, the resulting side rail must be at least equal in strength to a one-piece side rail made of the same material.
Except where portable ladders are used to gain access to fixed ladders (such as elevated work area, the ladders must be offset with a platform or landing between the ladders. (The requirements for railing systems with toe boards for falling objects and overhead protection on railway platforms and Pedestals are specified in subclause M of this part.)
Ladder components must be coated so that an employee will not be punctured, lacerated, and clothing will not become entangled.
Wooden ladders shall not bear any opaque coating, except for identification or warning labels which may only be affixed to one side of a side rail.
The minimum vertical clearance between the rungs, cleats and steps of the fixed ladder and any obstruction behind the ladder shall be 18 cm (7 inches), except in the case of an elevator pit ladder for which a minimum vertical clearance of 4 1/2 inches (11 cm) is required .
The minimum vertical distance between the center line of the rungs, cleats and steps of the fixed ladder and any obstruction on the riser side of the ladder shall be 30 inches (76 cm), except as provided in paragraph (a)(15) of this section.
If unavoidable obstacles are encountered, the minimum vertical distance between the center line of the rungs, cleats and steps of the fixed ladder and the obstacle on the climbing side of the ladder may be reduced to 24 inches (61 cm), provided a deflection device is installed to avoid the Guide employees around the obstacle.
Fixed ladders at their point of entry/exit must have a step of no less than 7 inches (18 cm) and no more than 12 inches (30 cm) measured from the center line of the steps or rungs to the nearest edge of the landing pad. If the normal step-over distance exceeds 12 inches (30 cm), a landing platform must be provided to reduce the distance to the specified limit.
Fixed ladders without cages or wells must have a clearance to the nearest fixed object of at least 15 inches (38 cm) on each side of the ladder centerline.
Fixed ladders must be fitted with cages, recesses, ladder safety devices, or self-retracting lifelines if the ascent length is less than 7.3 m (24 ft) but the top of the ladder is more than 7.3 m (24 ft) away. located ) above lower levels.
If the total length of an ascent is 7.3 m (24 ft) or more, fixed ladders must be equipped with one of the following:
ladder fuses; or
Self-retracting lifelines and resting platforms at intervals not exceeding 150 feet (45.7 m); or
A cage or well and multiple sections of ladder, each section of ladder no longer than 15.2 m (50 feet). Ladder sections must be offset from adjacent sections and landing platforms must be provided at a maximum spacing of 15.2 m (50 feet).
Fixed ladder cages shall meet all of the following requirements:
Horizontal straps shall be attached to the side rails of stile ladders or directly to the structure, building or equipment for single rung ladders;
Vertical bars must be on the inside of the horizontal bands and attached to them;
Cages must extend at least 27 inches (68 cm) or more than 30 inches (76 cm) from the centerline of the step or rung (excluding the extension at the bottom of the cage) and be no less than 27 inches (68 cm) wide ;
The interior of the cage must be free of protrusions;
Horizontal bands must be no more than 4 feet (1.2 m) from center vertically;
Vertical bars must be spaced horizontally no more than 9 1/2 inches (24 cm) on center;
The bottom of the cage must be at least 7 ft (2.1 m) and no more than 8 ft (2.4 m) above the access point to the base of the ladder. The bottom of the cage must be flared at least 10 cm (4 inches) all around within the space between the lower horizontal band and the next higher band;
The top of the cage must be at least 1.1 m (42 in) above the top of the platform or access point at the top of the ladder, with provision for access to the platform or other access points.
Wells for fixed ladders must meet all of the following requirements:
They should completely enclose the ladder;
They must be free of protrusions;
Its inside face on the climbing side of the ladder must extend no less than 27 inches (68 cm) and no more than 30 inches (76 cm) from the center line of the step or rung;
Interior clear width must be at least 30 inches (76 cm);
The bottom of the wall on the access side must begin at a height no less than 7 ft (2.1 m) and no more than 8 ft (2.4 m) above the access point to the base of the ladder.
Ladder safety devices and associated support systems for fixed ladders shall meet all of the following requirements:
You must be able to withstand a drop test consisting of a 500 pound (226 kg) drop from a height of 18 inches (41 cm) without failure;
You must enable the employee using the equipment to mount or dismount without having to constantly hold, push or pull any part of the equipment, leaving both hands free for climbing;
They must activate within 0.61 m (2 ft) of a fall and limit an employee's descent rate to 7 ft/sec. limit. (2.1 m/s) or less;
The connection between the carrier or lifeline and the attachment point on the body harness or harness must not exceed 23 cm (9 inches).
The installation of ladder safety devices for vertical ladders must comply with the following:
Rigid beam brackets shall be fitted at each end of the beam, with intermediate brackets distributed along the full length of the beam where necessary to provide the necessary strength to arrest worker falls.
Flexible beam brackets must be attached to each end of the beam. If the system is exposed to wind, cable runs for flexible beams must be installed a minimum of 25 feet (7.6 m) and a maximum of 40 feet (12.2 m) apart along the entire length of the beam to avoid wind damage to the System.
The design and installation of brackets and cable ducts must not reduce the structural strength of the ladder.
The side rails of fixed ladders with a continuous or side step must extend 42 in. (1.1 m) above the top of the access level or landing surface served by the ladder. For a parapet ladder, the access level must be the roof when the parapet is cut to allow passage through the parapet; in the case of a continuous parapet, the access level is the upper edge of the parapet.
For extensions for continuous fixed ladders, the steps or rungs in the extension must be omitted and the side rail extension must be flared to allow a minimum of 24 inches (61 cm) and more than 30 inches (76 cm) of side rail spacing. If ladder restraints are present, the maximum distance between the side rails of the extensions must not exceed 36 inches (91 cm).
In the case of vertical ladders, the side rails and the steps or rungs in the extension must be continuous.
Individual rung/stepladders, excluding those whose access openings are covered with manway covers or hatches, must extend at least 42 inches (1.1 m) above an access level or landing, either by continuing the rung spacings as horizontal grab bars or by providing vertical ones Support bars, which must have the same lateral spacing as the vertical legs of the rungs.
Use. The following requirements apply to the use of all ladders, including factory-made ladders, unless otherwise noted:
When portable ladders are used to access an upper landing, the ladder side rails must extend at least 0.9 m (3 feet) above the upper landing to which the ladder is being used for access; or, where the length of the ladder does not permit such an extension, the ladder shall be secured at its upper end to a rigid support which will not deflect, and a gripping device such as a clamp shall be used. A grab handle, for example, may be provided to assist employees in boarding and descending the ladder. In no case should the extension be such that the deflection of the ladder under load alone would cause the ladder to slip out of its bracket.
Ladders must be kept free of oil, grease and other slip hazards.
Ladders must not be loaded in excess of the maximum design load for which they are designed or beyond the rated working load stated by the manufacturer.
Ladders may only be used for the purpose for which they were designed.
Ladders that are not self-supporting must be used at an angle such that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is approximately one quarter of the working length of the ladder (the distance along the ladder between the foot and the foot of the ladder). top support).
Custom made wooden ladders with spliced side rails must be used at an angle such that the horizontal distance is one eighth the working length of the ladder.
Fixed ladders may be used at an angle of no more than 90 degrees from horizontal measured to the back of the ladder.
Ladders may only be used on stable and level surfaces unless they are secured against accidental displacement.
Ladders should not be used on slippery surfaces unless secured or fitted with non-slip feet to prevent accidental slipping. Non-slip feet are not to be used as a substitute for care when placing, lashing down or holding a ladder used on slippery surfaces including but not limited to flat metal or concrete surfaces that are designed in such a way that they cannot be prevented from being slippery .
Ladders placed in places where they can be moved by work activities or traffic, such as in passageways, doorways, or driveways, must be secured against accidental movement, or a barricade must be used to keep activity or traffic away from the ladder.
The area around the top and bottom of ladders must be kept clear.
The top of a ladder that is not self-supporting must be placed so that the two uprights are evenly supported, unless it is fitted with a single support attachment.
Ladders may not be moved, relocated, or extended while occupied.
Ladders shall have nonconductive side rails when used where the worker or ladder might touch exposed live electrical equipment, except as provided in §1926.955(b) and (c) of this part.
The top or top step of a stepladder shall not be used as a step.
Cross braces at the rear of stepladders shall not be used for climbing unless the ladders are designed and fitted with steps for climbing at both the front and rear.
Ladders must be inspected for visible defects by a competent person periodically and after any event that may affect their safe use.
Portable ladders with design flaws, such as B. Broken or missing rungs, cleats or steps, broken or split stiles, corroded components or other faulty or defective components must either be marked immediately in an easily identifiable manner as defective or marked with “Do Not Use” or a similar word and taken out of service pending repair.
Fixed ladders with structural defects such as B., but not limited to, broken or missing rungs, cleats or steps, cracked or split stiles or corroded components shall be removed from service pending repair. The requirement to take a defective ladder out of service is met when the ladder is either:
Immediately marked with "Do not use" or similar language,
Marked in a way that easily identifies it as defective;
Or blocked (e.g. with a plywood attachment spanning several rungs).
Ladder repairs must return the ladder to a condition that meets its original design criteria before the ladder is returned to service.
Single rail ladders must not be used.
When ascending or descending a ladder, the user must face the ladder.
Each employee must use at least one hand to grasp the ladder when ascending and/or descending the ladder.
An employee must not carry any object or load that could cause the employee to lose balance and fall.
What is OSHA standards for a ladder? ›
The minimum clear distance between side rails for all portable ladders must be 11.5 inches (29 cm). edge of a landing area must be no less than 7 inches (18 cm) and no more than 12 inches (30 cm). A landing platform must be provided if the step-across distance exceeds 12 inches (30 cm).What are OSHA requirements for ladder inspections? ›
The minimum perpendicular clearance between fixed ladder rungs, cleats, and steps, and any obstruction behind the ladder shall be 7 inches (18 cm), except in the case of an elevator pit ladder, for which a minimum perpendicular clearance of 4 1/2 inches (11 cm) is required.What are the important things you must do when using a ladder give 3 answers? ›
When climbing up or down, always: Face the stepladder. Keep your body centered between side rails. Maintain three-point contact by keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on a ladder always.What are 5 OSHA standards? ›
Examples of OSHA standards include requirements for employers to: • provide fall protection; • prevent trenching cave-ins; • prevent exposure to some infectious diseases; • ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces; • prevent exposure to harmful chemicals; • put guards on dangerous machines; • provide ...What are the 4 things you should remember about ladder safety? ›
Maintain a 3-point contact (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) when climbing/ descending a ladder. Stay near the middle of the ladder and face the ladder while climbing up/down. Use a barricade to keep traffic away from the ladder. Keep ladders free of any slippery materials.How often do ladders need to be checked? ›
They should have a pre-use check each working day. have an up-to-date record of the detailed visual inspections carried out regularly by a competent person.Who can complete a ladder inspection checklist? ›
Who can conduct inspections? Ladder inspections should only be conducted by a competent person trained in ladder safety. A competent person is someone who has the necessary technical expertise, training and experience in ladder work.What is the 3 point rule for ladder safety? ›
To use ladders safely, always maintain three points of contact. That means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. Moving quickly often results in only 2-point contact. You often have to make a conscious effort to maintain 3-point contact.What checks should be completed before using a ladder? ›
- the stiles – make sure they are not bent or damaged, as the ladder could buckle or collapse.
- the feet – if they are missing, worn or damaged the ladder could slip. ...
- the rungs – if they are bent, worn, missing or loose, the ladder could fail.
Follow the 4 to 1 ratio ladder rule: set the base 1 foot out from the wall for every 4 feet it reaches up. This can be estimated by counting rungs, which are about one foot apart. Ensure latches (or locks) are in place and holding to prevent overloading a rail.
What is the 4 to 1 rule related to ladders? ›
The base of the ladder should be placed so that it is one foot away from the building for every four feet of hight to where the ladder rests against the building. This is known as the 4 to 1 rule.What are 3 defects to look for when inspecting ladders? ›
- cracks, chips and splinters.
- deformed rails or rungs from heat, chemical or environmental exposure.
- bends and breaks.
Examples of OSHA standards include require- ments to provide fall protection, prevent trenching cave-ins, prevent exposure to some infectious diseases, ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces, prevent exposure to such harmful substances as asbestos and lead, put guards on machines, provide respirators or ...What are 10 most cited OSHA standards? ›
|Type||Number of Violations|
|1. Fall Protection (General)||5,260|
|2. Hazard Communication||2,424|
|3. Respiratory Protection||2,185|
OSHA standards fall into four categories: General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture.What are the 3 most common cause of ladder accidents? ›
- Selecting the Wrong Type of Ladder.
- Using Worn or Damaged Ladders.
- Incorrect Use of Ladders.
- Incorrect Placement of Ladders.
- STAY ALERT - and stay alive. ...
- WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES - work clothes should fit properly. ...
- USE THE RIGHT TOOLS - if you need a hammer, get a hammer. ...
- LEARN HOW TO LIFT - Lifting takes more than muscle; it is an art.
Always maintain three points of contact when climbing or descending the ladder. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand. Only take small items up or down a ladder – never large or heavy items such as building materials. Only carry items that allow you to maintain three points of contact.What is the maximum time you can work off a ladder? ›
As a guide, only use a ladder or stepladder: in one position for a maximum of 30 minutes; for 'light work' - they are not suitable for strenuous or heavy work.Does OSHA require monthly ladder inspections? ›
OSHA requires that employers ensure ladders are inspected on a periodic basis. However, even with periodic inspections, it is still every worker's responsibility to be sure that the ladder they are about to use is in safe working order.
What is the most common cause of ladder accidents? ›
Human error is by far the leading cause of ladder accidents. Never use a ladder in any other way than what the manufacturer intended it to be used for. Also, do not lengthen or alter a ladder in any way. While using a ladder always maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder to ensure stability.Does OSHA require ladder inspection tags? ›
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ladder standards do not require manufacturers to label ladders with instructions and warnings. Manufacturers of ladders attach the labels to provide information for safe use, and to protect themselves in liability action from any misuse of the ladder.What is the first rule for working at height? ›
First assess the risks. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task, the duration and frequency, and the condition of the surface being worked on.What are 10 basic safety rules? ›
- 1: Don't talk to Strangers. ...
- 2: Cross the Street with Adult Supervision. ...
- 3: Never Play with Fire. ...
- 4: Be Safety Conscious While Going to School. ...
- 5: Be Safety at Home. ...
- 6: Be Safety Smart While Doing Chores. ...
- 7: Play Safety. ...
- 8: Safety on the Road.
Per OSHA 1910.23(b)(4), ladder rungs, steps, and cleats must have a minimum clear width of 16 inches (measured before installation of ladder safety systems) for fixed ladders. Although it's a current OSHA requirement, our fall protection inspection teams still see ladders that do not meet this minimum standard.How high can you go on a ladder without fall protection? ›
Fixed ladders: fall protection must be provided for employees climbing or working on fixed ladders above 24 feet. 29 CFR 1926.1053(a)(19) states that fall protection must be provided whenever the length of climb on a fixed ladder equals or exceeds 24 feet.What is the maximum height to work off a ladder? ›
What is the maximum height a ladder can be used? There is no maximum height for using a ladder. However, where a ladder rises 9 metres or more above its base, landing areas or rest platforms should be provided at suitable intervals.What is the 4 to 1 rule with ladders? ›
Follow the 4 to 1 ratio ladder rule: set the base 1 foot out from the wall for every 4 feet it reaches up. This can be estimated by counting rungs, which are about one foot apart.What are the four common ladder types OSHA? ›
Choose the Right Ladder. Using ladders safely begins with choosing the right one for the job. OSHA regulations list a few types, including stepstools, stepladders, rolling ladders, extension ladders, and self-supporting ladders.What is the 3 point rule for ladders? ›
To use ladders safely, always maintain three points of contact. That means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. Moving quickly often results in only 2-point contact. You often have to make a conscious effort to maintain 3-point contact.
At what height do I need to wear a harness? ›
Personal Fall Arrest Systems
OSHA requires workers to wear a full-body harness, (one part of a Personal Fall Arrest System) when they are working on a suspended scaffold more than 10 feet above the working surface, or when they are working in bucket truck or aerial lift.
What are the top three OSHA-cited ladder violations? Lack of worker training, Improper use of the top of step ladders, Not having a portable ladder extend three feet above the landing, View the image and decide whether it has good maintenance or bad maintenance.What height is considered a fall hazard? ›
When must employers provide Fall Protection? The 6-foot rule. Subpart M requires the use of fall protection when construction workers are working at heights of 6 feet or greater above a lower level.How long can you legally work on a ladder? ›
The Health and Safety Executive outlines a time limit of no more than 30 minutes for work on stepladders and leaning ladders. Working on either of these pieces of equipment for longer than 30 minutes increases the risk of worker fatigue.Does OSHA require tie off on ladders? ›
The quick answer is no, but let me explain why. The OSHA standard for construction (29 CFR 1926.501) requires workers to use fall protection with an unprotected edge that is 6 feet above a lower level. The standard for general industry, walking-working surfaces (1910 Subpart D) requires fall protection at 4 feet.What is the 421 rule with ladders? ›
A ladder safety standard, the 4-to-1 rule state that the ladder should be 1 foot away from the wall for every 4 feet the ladder rises. This allows for maximum stability. So, for instance, if the ladder touches the wall 8 feet off the ground, the base of the ladder should be 2 feet away from the wall.