(a) Scope. This section is intended to prescribe rules and establish minimum requirements for the design, construction, selection, care, and use of all self-supporting and non-self-supporting portable ladders, in order to insure safety under normal conditions of usage. This section does not apply to ladder type step stools or other types of step stools except for the definition of "step stool (ladder type)" in subsection (b) and the design and construction requirements of subsection (c)(5).
Extension Ladder. An extension ladder is a non-self-supporting portable ladder adjustable in length. It consists of two or more sections traveling in guides or brackets so arranged as to permit length adjustment. Its size is designated by the sum of the lengths of the sections measured along the side rails.
Extension Trestle Ladder. An extension trestle ladder is a self-supporting portable ladder, adjustable in length, consisting of a trestle ladder base and a vertically adjustable single ladder, with suitable means for locking the ladders together. The size is designated by the length of the trestle ladder base.
Ladders. A ladder is an appliance usually consisting of two side rails joined at regular intervals by crosspieces called steps, rungs, or cleats, on which a person may step in ascending or descending.
Sectional Ladder. A sectional ladder is a non-self-supporting portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, consisting of two or more sections of ladder so constructed that the sections may be combined to function as a single ladder. Its size is designated by the overall length of the assembled sections.
Side-Rolling Ladder. A side-rolling ladder is a semifixed ladder, nonadjustable in length, supported by attachments to a guide rail, which is generally fastened to shelving, the plane of the ladder being also its plane of motion.
Single Ladder. A single ladder is a non-self-supporting portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, consisting of but one section. Its size is designated by the overall length of the side rail.
Single-Rail Ladder. A ladder with rungs, cleats, or steps mounted on a single-rail instead of the normal two rails used on most other ladders.
Special-Purpose Ladder. A special-purpose ladder is a portable ladder which represents either a modification or a combination of design or construction features in one of the general-purpose types of ladders previously defined, in order to adapt the ladder to special or specific uses.
Step Ladder. A step ladder is a self-supporting portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, having flat steps and a hinged back. Its size is designated by the overall length of the ladder measured along the front edge of the side rails.
Step stool (ladder type). A self-supporting, foldable, portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, 32 inches or less in length, with flat steps and without a pail shelf, designed so that the ladder top cap as well as all steps can be climbed on. The side rails may extend above the top-cap but such extension is not considered as part of the step stool length.
Trestle Ladder. A trestle ladder is a self-supporting portable ladder, nonadjustable in length, consisting of two sections hinged at the top to form equal angles with the base. The size is designated by the length of the side rails measured along the front edge.
Trolley Ladder. A trolley ladder is a semifixed ladder, nonadjustable in length, supported by attachments to an overhead track, the plane of the ladder being at right angles to the plane of motion.
(c) Design and Construction.
(1) Portable wood ladders placed in service after January 7, 2011 shall meet the design and construction requirements of ANSI A14.1-2007, American National Standard for Ladders - Wood Safety Requirements, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Portable wood ladders placed in service on or before January 7, 2011, shall meet the design and construction requirements of the ANSI A14.1 standard in effect at the time such ladders were placed in service.
EXCEPTION: Portable job-made cleat ladders that are designed and constructed in accordance with the requirements of Section 1676 of the Construction Safety Orders.
(2) Portable metal ladders placed in service after January 7, 2011, shall meet the design and construction requirements of ANSI A14.2-2007, American National Standard for Ladders - Portable Metal - Safety Requirements, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Portable metal ladders placed in service on or before January 7, 2011, shall meet the design and construction requirements of either the ANSI A14.2 standard or the ANSI A14.10 standard, American National Standard for Ladders - Portable Special Duty Ladders, in effect at the time such ladders were placed in service.
(3) Portable reinforced plastic ladders placed in service after January 7, 2011, shall meet the design and construction requirements of ANSI A14.5-2007, American National Standard for Ladders - Portable Reinforced Plastic - Safety Requirements, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Portable reinforced plastic ladders placed in service on or before January 7, 2011, shall meet the design and construction requirements of either the ANSI A14.5 standard or the ANSI A14.10 standard in effect at the time such ladders were placed in service.
(4) Portable special purpose ladders that are not covered by one of the ANSI A14 standards referenced in this section shall be designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering principles and approved per Section 3206.
(5) Ladder type step stools shall be designed and constructed such that the rungs, cleats, and steps are not less than 8 inches apart, or more than 12 inches apart, as measured between center lines of the rungs, cleats, and steps.
(1) Ladders shall be selected and their use restricted to the purpose for which the ladder is designed. Single-rail ladders shall not be used.
(A) Scaffolds or other worker positioning equipment shall be used when work cannot be safely done from ladders.
(B) Portable ladders are generally designed for one-person use to meet the requirements of the person, the task, and the environment. When selecting a ladder for use, consideration shall be given to the ladder length or height required, the working load, the duty rating, worker position to the task to be performed, and the frequency of use to which the ladder will be subjected.
NOTE: Subsection (e)(16)(D) prohibits the use of ladders that exceed specified maximum lengths.
(2) Ladders shall be used according to the following duty classifications:
Working Load (Pounds)
(3) Ladders used in connection with ladder jack scaffolds shall be Type I, IA, or IAA duty rated ladders and shall be installed and used in accordance with the Construction Safety Orders, Section 1648.
(4) Ladders used in connection with outdoor advertising structures shall be Type I, IA, or IAA duty rated and shall be used in accordance with Section 3413.
(e) Care, Use, Inspection and Maintenance of Ladders.
(1) Maintenance. Ladders shall be maintained in good condition at all times, the joint between the steps and side rails shall be tight, all hardware and fittings securely attached, and the movable parts shall operate freely without binding or undue play. Metal ladders shall not be exposed to acid or alkali materials that are capable of corroding the ladder and reducing the ladder's strength, unless the employer obtains and follows the recommendations of the ladder manufacturer or a qualified person regarding exposure to corrosive materials.
(2) Inspection. Ladders shall be inspected by a qualified person for visible defects frequently and after any occurrence that could affect their safe use.
(3) Damaged Ladders. Ladders that have developed defects shall be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction; and tagged or marked as "Dangerous, Do Not Use" or with similar language. Ladders with broken or missing steps, rungs, cleats, safety feet, side rails, or other defects shall not be used.
(4) Cleaning. Ladders shall be free of oil, grease, or slippery materials.
(5) Surface Coatings.
Wood ladders shall not be painted with other than a transparent material.
(6) Loading. Portable ladders shall not be overloaded when used.
(7) Footing Support. The ladder base section of surface supported ladders shall be placed on a secure and level footing. When necessary, ladder levelers shall be used to achieve equal rail support on uneven surfaces. Ladders shall not be placed on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height. Ladders shall not be used on ice, snow or slippery surfaces unless suitable means to prevent slippage have been employed.
(8) Top Support. The top of non-self-supporting ladders such as single and extension ladders shall be placed with the two rails supported equally, unless a single support attachment is provided and used.
The top rest for portable rung and cleat ladders shall be reasonably rigid and shall have ample strength to support the applied load.
(9) Angle of Inclination. Non-self-supporting ladders such as single ladders and extension ladders shall, where possible, be used at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is one-quarter of the working length of the ladder (the length along the ladder between the foot and the top support). The ladder shall be so placed as to prevent slipping, or it shall be tied, blocked, held, or otherwise secured to prevent slipping. Ladders shall not be used in a horizontal position as platforms, runways, or scaffolds unless designed for such use.
(10) Access to Elevated Work Areas. Except when portable ladders are used to gain access to fixed ladders (such as those on utility towers, billboards, and other structures where the bottom of the fixed ladder is elevated to limit access), when two or more separate ladders are used to reach an elevated work area, the ladders shall be offset with a platform or landing between the ladders.
(11) Access to Landings. When portable ladders are used for access to an upper landing surface, the side rails shall extend not less than 36 inches above the upper landing surface to which the ladder is used to gain access; or when such an extension is not possible, then the ladder shall be secured at its top to a rigid support that will not deflect, and a grasping device, such as a grab-rail, shall be provided to assist employees in mounting and dismounting the ladder. In no case shall the extension be such that ladder deflection under a load would, by itself, cause the ladder to slip off its support.
EXCEPTION No. 1: A grasping device such as a grab-rail is not required where the employee is protected by personal fall protection system in accordance with Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders, Article 36 of the High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders, Article 12 of the General Industry Safety Orders, or Article 1 of the Telecommunication Safety Orders. Operations or conditions not specifically covered by Article 36 of the High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders, Article 12 of the General Industry Safety Orders, or Article 1 of the Telecommunication Safety Orders shall comply with the fall protection provisions of Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.
EXCEPTION No. 2: The provisions of this subsection do not apply to emergency rescue and emergency rescue training operations where it is not practical to extend a portable ladder 36 inches or more above the landing surface.
(12) Fastening Together. Ladders shall not be tied or fastened together to provide longer sections unless the ladders are designed for such use and equipped with the necessary hardware fittings.
(13) Erection of Extension Ladders. Extension ladders shall always be erected so that the top section (fly section) is above and resting on the bottom section (base section) with the rung locks engaged.
(14) Ladder Placement. Ladders shall not be placed in passageways, doorways, driveways, or any location where they may be displaced by activities being conducted on any other work, unless protected by barricades or guards.
(15) Climbing and Working on Ladders.
(A) The employee shall climb or work with the body near the middle of the step or rung and shall not overreach from this position. When necessary to avoid overreaching, the employee shall descend and reposition the ladder. When it is not practical to work with the body near the middle of the step or rung, the ladder shall be secured to the top support, and the employee shall be protected by a personal fall protection system in accordance with Article 36 of the High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders, Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders, Article 12 of the General Industry Safety Orders, or Article 1 of the Telecommunication Safety Orders. Operations or conditions not specifically covered by Article 36 of the High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders, Article 12 of the General Industry Safety Orders, or Article 1 of the Telecommunication Safety Orders shall comply with the fall protection provisions of Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders.
(B) Employees shall be prohibited from carrying equipment or materials which prevent the safe use of ladders.
(C) When ascending or descending a ladder, the user shall face the ladder and maintain contact with the ladder at three-points at all times.
NOTE: Contact with the ladder at three points means two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot which is safely supporting the user's weight.
(D) An employee shall not be permitted to stand and work on the top 3 rungs of a single or extension ladder unless there are members of the structure that provide a firm handhold or the employee is protected by a personal fall protection system in accordance Article 24 of the Construction Safety Orders, Article 36 of the High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders, Article 12 of the General Industry Safety Orders, or Article 1 of the Telecommunication Safety Orders.
(E) Employees shall not sit, kneel, step or stand on the pail shelf, topcap or the step below the topcap of a step ladder.
EXCEPTION: Employees may stand on the step below the topcap provided it is located 18 inches under the topcap.
(F) Cross-bracing on the rear section of step ladders shall not be used for climbing unless the ladders are designed and provided with steps for climbing on both front and rear sections.
(G) Ladders shall not be moved, shifted, or extended while occupied, unless the ladder is designed and recommended for this purpose by the manufacturer.
(16) Prohibited Uses.
(A) Ladders shall not be used as a brace, skid, guy or gin pole, gang-way, or for other uses than that for which they were intended, unless specifically recommended for use by the manufacturer.
(B) Planks shall not be used on the top step or topcap of step ladders.
(C) Step ladders shall not be used as single ladders or in the partially closed position.
(D) Ladders that exceed the following maximum lengths shall not be used:
Maximum Length (Feet)
Two-section extension ladder (wood)
Two-section extension ladder (metal)
Three-section extension ladder (metal)
Two-section extension ladder (reinforced plastic)
Extension trestle ladder base section
Extension trestle ladder extension section
Painter's step ladder
Trolley ladder or side-rolling ladder
(Video) Safety Updates Series: Fall Prevention for Your Business
(E) Two section extension ladders shall not be used when the overlap between the sections is less than the following minimum overlap:
Ladder Size (Feet)
Minimum Overlap (Inches)
Up to and including 32
Over 32, up to and including 36
Over 36, up to and including 48
Over 48, up to and including 60
(17) Portable rung ladders with reinforced rails shall be used only with the metal reinforcement on the under side.
(18) Electrical Hazards. Non-conductive ladders shall be used in locations where the ladder or user may contact unprotected energized electrical conductors or equipment. Conductive ladders shall be legibly marked with signs reading "CAUTION - Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment," or equivalent wording.
NOTE: Additional requirements for working in proximity to energized electrical equipment can be found in Article 37 of the Electrical Safety Orders.
(19) The area around the top and bottom of a ladder shall be kept clear.
(f) Employee Training. Before an employee uses a ladder, the employee shall be provided training in the safe use of ladders, unless the employer can demonstrate that the employee is already trained in ladder safety as required by this subsection. Supervisors of employees who routinely use ladders shall also be provided ladder safety training, unless the employer can demonstrate that the supervisor is already trained in ladder safety as required by this subsection. The training may be provided as part of the employer's Injury and Illness Prevention Program required by Section 3203. The training shall address the following topics, unless the employer can demonstrate a topic is not applicable to the safe use of ladders in the employer's workplace.
(1) Importance of using ladders safely, including: frequency and severity of injuries related to falls from ladders.
(2) Selection, including: types of ladders, proper length, maximum working loads, and electrical hazards.
(3) Maintenance, inspection, and removal of damaged ladders from service.
(4) Erecting ladders, including: footing support, top support, securing, and angle of inclination.
(5) Climbing and working on ladders, including: user's position and points of contact with the ladder.
(6) Factors contributing to falls, including: haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, footwear, and user's physical condition.
(7) Prohibited uses, including: uses other than designed, climbing on cross bracing, maximum lengths, and minimum overlap of extension ladder sections.
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 are the OSHA requirements for ladder storage? ›
There are no OSHA requirements for ladder storage. OSHA generally instructs employers to follow manufacturer recommendations concerning the safety, storage, and maintenance of equipment. Contact the ladder manufacturer or go to their website for maintenance and care instructions.What is the maximum length of a portable ladder OSHA? ›
The current OSHA standard at §1910.27(d)(2) establishes a maximum limit of 30 feet between platforms; therefore, ladder distances in excess of 30 feet without an intermittent platform would not be in compliance with the standard.What is the maximum height a single portable ladder can be? ›
Portable Wood Ladders:
Stepladders – Maximum 20' Type I – Industrial – 3-20' Type II – Commercial – 3-12' Type III – Household – 3-6'
Ladders shall be used only on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental displacement. Ladders shall not be used on slippery surfaces unless secured or provided with slip-resistant feet to prevent accidental displacement.How high can a ladder be before it needs a cage? ›
The requirement for a cage comes when you have a fixed ladder longer than 20 feet. The regulations say that if a fixed ladder is taller than 20 feet, you are required to have a cage that meets all the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.27(d).
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 is considered a portable ladder? ›
The ANSI standard A14. 2-1990 defines a portable ladder as "a ladder that can readily be moved or carried, usually consisting of side rails joined at intervals by step, rungs, cleats, or rear braces."What are the top three OSHA cited ladder violations? ›
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.Which of the following are employer responsibilities with regard to ladders? ›
Employers have the responsibility to train all their employees to recognize ladder and stairway-related hazards. They should also instruct their employees on how they can minimize these hazards.
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.What is the maximum intended load rating for portable ladders? ›
OSHA standards are not intended to restrict the use of job-made portable ladders that would safely support work loads in excess of 300 pounds as the maximum capacity. Employers are certainly free to build or purchase ladders that have a greater than 300 pound capacity.What are the two types of portable ladders? ›
There are two basic types of portable ladders in terms of how the ladder is supported: Self supporting – Stepladders. Not self supporting – Single and Extension Ladders.What are the three main types of portable ladders? ›
Three Main Types of OHSA Ladders
- Portable Ladders.
- Mobile Ladders.
- Fixed Ladders.
11) Portable ladders may be used for long term tasks if installed and designated as a permanent work surface.What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 ladders? ›
b) Type I – These ladders have a duty rating of 250 pounds. Type I ladders are manufactured for heavy-duty use. c) Type II – These ladders have a duty rating of 225 pounds. Type II ladders are approved for medium-duty use.Which feature should every portable ladder have? ›
All ladders in use must be able to support their maximum intended load and have parallel rungs supported by a rail on each side (portable single-rail ladders are prohibited). Rungs must be equally spaced and shaped/built so that the user's foot will not slip during normal use.What are the 4 types of OSHA violations? ›
- Willful. A willful violation exists under the OSHA Act where an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the Act or plain indifference to employee safety and health. ...
- Serious. ...
- Other-Than-Serious. ...
- De Minimis. ...
- Failure to Abate. ...
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced it is issuing $87,430,000 in proposed penalties to BP Products North America Inc. for the company's failure to correct potential hazards faced by employees. The fine is the largest in OSHA's history.Do you have to be tied off when working from a ladder? ›
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.
Always face the ladder and maintain contact with the ladder at three-points at all times. Contact with the ladder at three points means two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot which is safely supporting the user's weight. Do not carry equipment or materials on ladders.Do you need a spotter on a ladder? ›
You should always have a spotter. Several deaths over the last few years happened while workers were transitioning between ladders and scaffolding. In many cases, the fall was 10 feet or less. An extra hand in those places is helpful to steady yourself.Do ladders have an expiration date? ›
Remember that there is no expiration date for ladders, so as long as you follow proper storage techniques and treat it with care, your ladder could last you an extremely long time.Are ladder inspections required by OSHA? ›
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.How do you know the weight limit of a ladder? ›
The Duty Rating of your ladder can be found on the specifications label. Safety standards require a Duty Rating sticker to be placed on the side of every ladder. Do not assume that a longer ladder has a higher weight capacity.Is required when the top of the ladder is more than 24 feet above the lower elevation? ›
If the fixed ladder will reach more than 24 feet above a lower level, you as the employer are required to incorporate a personal fall arrest or ladder safety system into the installation of the ladder.What do ladder colors mean? ›
Color codes for Aluminum Stepladders and Extension Ladders. RED, 200 lbs, ANSI Code Type III. GREEN, 225 lbs, ANSI Code Type II. BLUE, 250 lbs, ANSI Code Type I. BLACK or ORANGE, 300 lbs, ANSI Code Type IA.What are the 3 types of ladders? ›
Single Pole Ladders (maximum length 9 metres) Extension Ladders (maximum length 15 metres) Step Ladders (maximum height 6.1 metres)Which is a requirement regarding the care and usage of portable metal ladders? ›
1910.23(c)(1) requires that employers minimize slipping hazards on portable metal ladders. Employers must ensure rungs and steps of portable metal ladders are corrugated, knurled, dimpled, coated with skid resistant materials, or otherwise treated to minimize the possibility of slipping.What are hazards associated with portable ladders? ›
Some of the more common hazards involving ladders, such as instability, electrical shock, and falls, can be predicted and prevented. Prevention requires proper planning, correct ladder selection, good work procedures and adequate ladder maintenance.
|Vertical height||75° rung ladder *||45° stairs|
|4.50 m||4.65 m||6.35 m|
|5.00 m||5.20 m||7.05 m|
|5.50 m||5.70 m||7.80 m|
|6.00 m||6.20 m||8.50 m|
For example, a 24-foot extension ladder will consist of two sections each 12 feet long, but the maximum extended length will be 21 feet, because the sections overlap by no less than 1½ feet when the ladder is at maximum extension.What is the maximum height of 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.How long is a 20 foot extension ladder when not extended? ›
|Extension Ladder Height||Maximum Reach of Extension Ladder||Distance of Base Placement from Wall|
|16 foot||15 feet||4 feet|
|20 foot||19 feet||5 feet|
|24 foot||23 feet||6 feet|
|28 foot||27 feet||7 feet|
8-foot ladder = 12-foot reach. 10-foot ladder = 14-foot reach. 12-foot ladder = 16-foot reach.What is the 4 to 1 rule when using a ladder? ›
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 are the 3 types of ladders? ›
Single Pole Ladders (maximum length 9 metres) Extension Ladders (maximum length 15 metres) Step Ladders (maximum height 6.1 metres)How far does a 12 ft extension ladder reach? ›
|STEP LADDER REACH GUIDE|
DON'T use a ladder near any power lines. DO make sure that longer extension ladders (over 18 rungs) have an overlap of at least three rungs. Shorter ones (up to 18 rungs) need a minimum overlap of two. DON'T be tempted to use a ladder if you're not fit enough, or suffer from giddiness or aren't confident with heights.What is the minimum overlap required for extension ladders taller than 48 feet? ›
Each section of an extension ladder should overlap the adjacent section by a minimum num- ber of feet, depending on overall length. For ex- tension ladders up to 36 feet long, overlap should be at least 3 feet; for ladder lengths between 36 and 48 feet, overlap should be at least 4 feet.
Ladders should be placed on a firm level surfaces with rungs horizontal. Users should face the ladder at all times whilst climbing or dismounting. Stepladders should not be used sideways-on where sideways loads are supplied. Only one person should climb or work from a ladder or a stepladder.Can more than one person be on a ladder? ›
Only one person at a time is permitted on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for more than one climber (such as a Trestle Ladder).How long can you work of a ladder for? ›
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.How tall of a ladder do I need to reach 20 feet? ›
|Max. Height You Want to Reach||Buy This Size Ladder (assumes vertical 12-inch reach)|
If the fixed ladder will reach more than 24 feet above a lower level, you as the employer are required to incorporate a personal fall arrest or ladder safety system into the installation of the ladder.How high can you reach with a 24 ft ladder? ›
How high will a 24 foot extension ladder reach:- a 24 foot extension ladder will reach maximum height to 23 feet high and when base placement from wall is 6 feet, a 24 foot extension ladder will touch highest point is 17 feet.