In 2018, ladder violations were the sixth most cited violation recorded by OSHA. Although ladders are simple to use, they are very often used incorrectly. When not used correctly, ladders can cause serious injury to the person using it.
How to Safely Use a Ladder
Keep yourself safe at work and review safe ladder practices to prevent injuries when using a ladder. Here are some tips:
- Inspect the ladder before using. Make sure it is in good condition.
- Do not use ladders in high winds.
- Select the right size ladder for the job you’re performing.
- Make sure the ladder is on a firm, level, and non-slippery ground.
- Only allow one person on the ladder at a time, unless the ladder is designed for more than one person.
- Do not place ladders in front of closed doors that can open toward the ladder.
- Wear non-slip shoes when using a ladder.
OSHA Requirements for Ladders
OSHA has requirements for ladders that are designed to protect workers from injury. Under the general requirements for ladders (29 CFR 1910.23) OSHA addresses proper ladder climbing technique as well as the specification requirements for ladders.
Proper Climbing Technique: When ascending or descending a ladder, the user must maintain three points of contact at all times. Employees must face the ladder while using it and have at least one hand firmly grasping the ladder. Never carry a load that could cause the user to lose balance and fall.
- Ladder rungs, steps, and cleats are parallel, level, and uniformly spaced when the ladder is in position for use
- Ladder rungs, steps, and cleats are spaced not less than 10 inches [25 centimeters (cm)] and not more than 14 inches (36 cm) apart, as measured between the centerlines of the rungs, cleats, and steps
- Ladder rungs, steps, and cleats have a minimum clear width of 11.5 inches (29 cm) on portable ladders and 16 inches (41 cm) for fixed ladders
- Rungs and steps of manhole entry ladders that are supported by the manhole opening must have a minimum clear width of nine inches (23 cm)
- Rungs and steps on rolling ladders used in telecommunication centers must have a minimum clear width of eight inches (20 cm)
- Stepstools have a minimum clear width of 10.5 inches (26.7 cm)
In order to avoid receiving OSHA violations, ladders must meet the general specification requirements. There are additional rules for portable ladders and fixed ladders.
Lean Green Ladder From SSU
Safety Supplies Unlimited sells a new OSHA approved ladder by Louisville that can be folded up to lean against surfaces and used as a step ladder. This ladder is identified by OSHA inspectors as an OSHA approved ladder by its neon green tray. Some features of this ladder include:
- Converts from a step ladder into a shelf ladder for a 2 in 1 combination
- V-shape Protop allows the ladder to lean against walls buildings and poles
- Protop with multiple tool slots and magnet
- Innovative lock latch to secure rear section
- Step ladder angles allows you to get closer to the work area
- Shox impact absorption system
- Raptor Boot with slip-resistant non-marring bonded tread
- Inside spreader braces
- Double-rivet step construction
- Double heavy-duty reinforcements
Visit our online safety supplies shop to purchase this OSHA approved ladder by Louisville Ladder.