Goals: This safety session should teach employees to
Understand how to choose, inspect, and use ladders correctly.
Applicable Regulations: 29 CFR 1910.25-.27
- Proper Ladder Selection, Inspection, and Use Can Prevent Falls and Injuries
OSHA standards cover ladder design as well as requirements for:
- Inspecting ladders and removing unsafe ladders from use
- Safe ways to climb and work on ladders
- Select the Right Ladder for the Job
Use a ladder, not a chair or box, to reach heights. The ladder should be:
- Tall enough to reach the height you need
- Rated to handle the combined weight of you and your equipment.
- Ladders are rated I-A (holds 300 pounds); I (250 pounds); II (225 pounds); III (200 pounds. Not usually used on the job).
- Safe for the conditions.
- Don't use metal ladders around electricity, because metal is a conductor.
- Inspect Every Ladder Before Using It
- Don't use a ladder that has any missing or broken parts.
- Tag it as defective and remove it from service.
- Don't try to fix a ladder yourself.
- A ladder should have:
- No missing parts
- Firmly attached slip-resistant steps, rungs, or cleats free of grease or oil
- Tight support braces, bolts, screws, and spreaders
- Lubricated metal parts
- Safety feet
- Rope in good condition (not worn or frayed)
- No splinters or sharp edges
- No dents or bent parts in metal ladders
- Set Up a Ladder Firmly and Properly
- Place it on level floor or ground, with feet parallel to the surface it rests against.
- Place the ladder on wide boards if the ground is soft or broken.
- Extend the ladder at least three feet above the top support.
- Don't rest it on a window or window sash or in front of an unlocked door.
- Anchor the top. Tie the bottom or have someone hold it.
- The distance from the ladder's base to the wall should equal one-fourth the ladder's length.
- Climb and Work on Ladders Safely
- Wear shoes with clean, nonskid, non-leather soles.
- Allow only one person at a time on a ladder.
- Climb up and down facing the ladder and holding both side rails.
- Carry tools on a belt or rope or hoist.
- Work with one hand on the ladder.
- Don't stand on the top two stepladder steps or top four ladder rungs.
- Move slowly and cautiously on a ladder.
- Don't move a ladder while you're on it.
- Center your body on the ladder so your belt buckle is between the side rails.
- Carry and Store Ladders Properly
- Carry a ladder with another person when possible.
- If you must carry alone, balance the center on your shoulder. Keep the front end above your head and the back end near the ground.
- Store ladders in a dry, ventilated area kept at a moderate temperature.
- Store ladders standing up, if possible.
- If they must lie down, support both ends and the middle to prevent sagging or warping.
- Don't keep anything on a stored ladder, or the ladder will warp.
Ask participants which jobs they perform that would be dangerous with a metal ladder.
Ask for specific suggestions of how they would carry the tools and materials they use while working on ladders.
Conclusion: Attention to Ladder Safety Prevents Injuries
Take the time to choose, inspect, and use a ladder safely