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OSHA Ladder Regulations

If you have any questions or concerns regarding safety in the use, application and setup of a ladder, notify Steve Feller immediately.

General Rules for ladder use:

-        Do not load ladders beyond their maximum intended load nor beyond their manufacturer’s rated capacity.

-        Use ladders only for their designed purpose.

-        Use ladders only on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental movement.

-        Do not use ladders on slippery surfaces unless secured or provided with slip-resistant feet to prevent accidental movement. Do not use slip-resistant feet as a substitute for exercising care when placing, lashing or holding a ladder upon slippery surfaces.

-        Keep areas clear around the top and bottom of ladders.

-        Do not move, shift or extend ladders while in use.

-        Face the ladder when moving up or down.

-        Use at least one hand to grasp the ladder when climbing.

-        Do not carry objects or loads that could cause loss of balance and falling.


The following are specifically related to our ladders; however this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all regulations. Please refer to the following link for further relevant information.



When portable ladders are used for access to an upper landing surface, the ladder side rails shall extend at least 3 feet (.9 m) above the upper landing surface to which the ladder is used to gain access; or, when such an extension is not possible because of the ladder's length, then the ladder shall be secured at its top to a rigid support that will not deflect, and a grasping device, such as a grabrail, 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.



Ladders shall not be loaded beyond the maximum intended load for which they were built, nor beyond their manufacturer's rated capacity.



Ladders shall be used only for the purpose for which they were designed.



Non-self-supporting ladders shall be used at an angle such that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is approximately one-quarter of the working length of the ladder (the distance along the ladder between the foot and the top support).


Ladders shall be used only on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental displacement.



The area around the top and bottom of ladders shall be kept clear.



The top of a non-self-supporting ladder shall be placed with the two rails supported equally unless it is equipped with a single support attachment.



Ladders shall not be moved, shifted, or extended while occupied.



The top or top step of a stepladder shall not be used as a step.



Cross-bracing on the rear section of stepladders shall not be used for climbing unless the ladders are designed and provided with steps for climbing on both front and rear sections.



When ascending or descending a ladder, the user shall face the ladder.



Each employee shall use at least one hand to grasp the ladder when progressing up and/or down the ladder.



An employee shall not carry any object or load that could cause the employee to lose balance and fall.




[Page updated: Aug-13-2007] [close window]
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