#17 Ladders

Falls represent the largest single cause of accidental death in the workplace. About 40% of these falls are from one level to another, many from ladders. To help prevent accidents, make sure a proper ladder or steps are provided to again access to those high, difficult to reach places. The use of ladders with broken or missing rungs or steps, broken or split side rails, or other faulty or defective construction is prohibited. Inspection of metal ladders shall include checking for corrosion of interior of open-end hollow rungs.

 

Manufactured portable wood ladders provided by the employer shall be labeled as being designed and manufactured in accordance with the provisions of the American National Standards Institute, A14.1 1982, ladders-portable wood-safety requirements. Labels are not required on portable wood ladders purchased prior to July 1, 1992.

 

Portable metal ladders shall be of strength equivalent to that of wood ladders. Manufactured portable metal ladders provided by the employer shall be labeled as being designed and manufactured in accordance with the provisions of the American National Standards Institute, A14.2m 1982, ladder-portable metal safety requirements. Labels are not required on portable metal ladders purchased prior to July 1, 1992. Portable ladder feet shall be placed on a substantial base, and the area around the top and bottom of the ladder shall be kept clear.

 

Portable ladders shall be used at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from top support to the foot of the ladder is about one-quarter of the working length of the ladder (the length along the ladder between the foot and top support.) Ladders shall not be used in horizontal position as platforms, runways or scaffolds.

 

The side rails of ladders shall extend not less than 36 inches above the landing. When this is not practical, grab rails, which provide a secure grip for an employee moving to or from the point of access, shall be installed.