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Ladder Safety

Training > OSHA
Ladder Safety
According to OSHA regulation CFR 1926.1060 and 1926 Subpart X App A, employers shall provide a training program for each employee using ladders and stairways, as necessary. The program shall enable each employee to recognize hazards related to ladders and stairways, and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed to minimize these hazards. The employer shall ensure that each employee has been trained by a competent person in the following areas, as applicable:
The nature of fall hazards in the work area; The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems to be used; The proper construction, use, placement, and care in handling of all stairways and ladders; The maximum intended load-carrying capacities of ladders and the standards contained in this subpart. Retraining shall be provided for each employee as necessary so that the employee maintains the understanding and knowledge acquired through compliance with this section. [55 FR 47691, Nov. 14, 1990]

Falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.

• Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
• Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
• Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram).
• Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
• Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
• Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
• Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
• Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
• Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
• Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
• An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
• The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram).
• A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
• Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
• Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.

After successfully completing this course, learners will be able to:

• Recognize potential hazards related to ladders
• Identify the different types of ladders and their main components
• Describe safety measures to take when using ladders
• Potential Hazards
• Using Ladders Safely

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