Ladder Safety Workplace Safety Program
The purpose of this safety policy and procedure is to establish guidelines for
the safe use of ladders throughout (COMPANY) by employees, contractors and
visitors. Ladders are used when employees need to move up or down between two
different levels. Slips, trips, and falls are significant contributors to
COMPANYs accidents. Slips, trips, and falls can occur when wrong ladder
selection is made and when improper climbing techniques and/or defective
ladders are used.
At COMPANY, the appropriate ladder will be used for the corresponding job
and defective ladders will not be used. When hazards exist that cannot be
eliminated, then engineering practices, administrative practices, safe work
practices, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and proper training regarding
ladders will be implemented. These measures will be implemented to minimize
those hazards to ensure the safety of employees and the public.
This safety policy and procedure is established in accordance with
Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry (29 CFR
1910.25-27) and Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction
Industry (29 CFR 1926.1053).
are responsible for ensuring that adequate funds are available and budgeted
for the purchase of ladders in their areas. Managers/Unit Heads will obtain
and coordinate the required training for the affected employees.
Managers/Unit Heads will also ensure compliance with this safety policy and
procedure through their auditing process.
Supervisors are responsible
for ensuring that all ladders (fixed and portable) are regularly inspected
and properly maintained. They will also be responsible for tagging ladders
in need of repair and removing defected ladders from service for repair or
destruction. Supervisors will audit for compliance with this safety policy
and procedure during their facility and jobsite audits.
Employees shall comply with
all applicable guidelines contained in this safety policy and procedure.
Employees are also responsible for reporting immediately suspected unsafe
conditions or ladders to their supervisor. Employees are to inspect ladders
before using and are to keep ladders clean and in good condition.
Safety and Loss Control:
Safety and Loss
Control will provide prompt assistance to managers/unit heads, supervisors
or others as applicable on any matter concerning this safety policy and
procedure. Additionally, Safety and Loss Control will assist in developing
or securing of required training. Safety Engineers will provide consultative
and audit assistance to ensure effective implementation of this safety
policy and procedure. Safety and Loss Control will also work with Purchasing
Department to ensure that all newly purchased ladders comply with this
safety policy and procedure and current safety regulations.
Ladder safety training shall be done upon initial employment and/or job
assignment. Refresher training shall be provided to employees at the
discretion of their supervisor. Employees using the ladders shall be trained
The proper use of the ladders
What kind of ladder to use
How to set up ladders
Ladder Hazards & Safe Use
There are inherent hazards associated with ladder use. Typical ladder
Insufficient surface resistance on ladder rungs and steps
Ladder structural failure
Ladders tipping sideways, backwards, or slipping out at the bottom
Ladder spreaders not fully opened and locked, causing the ladder to
walk, twist or close up when a load is applied to the ladder
Using metal ladders around electricity
Using deteriorated ladders
Using fixed ladders without cages or fall protection
Safe Ladder Use
Employees should follow certain rules when placing, ascending, and
descending ladders which include:
Hold on with both hands when going up or down. If material must be
handled, raise or lower it with a rope either before going down or after
climbing to the desired level.
Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.
Never slide down a ladder.
Be sure shoes are not greasy, muddy, or slippery before climbing.
Do not climb higher than the third rung from the top on straight or
extension ladder, or the second tread from the top on stepladders.
Carry tools on a tool belt not in the hand.
Never lean too far to the sides. Keep your belt buckle within the side
Use a 4 to 1 ratio when leaning a single or extension ladder. (place a
12 foot ladder so that the bottom is 3 feet away from the object the ladder
is leaning against.)
Inspect ladder for defects before using.
Never use a defective ladder. Tag or mark it so that it will be
repaired or destroyed.
Never splice or lash a short ladder together.
Never use makeshift ladders, such as cleats fastened across a single
Be sure that a stepladder is fully open and the metal spreader locked
before starting to climb.
Keep ladders clean and free from dirt and grease.
Never use ladders during a strong wind except in an emergency and then
only when they are securely fastened.
Never leave placed ladders unattended.
Never use ladders as guys, braces, or skids, or for any other purpose
other than their intended purposes.
Never attempt to adjust a ladder while a user is standing on the
Never jump from a ladder. Always dismount from the bottom rung.
Ladder Safety Devices
Safety devices are available for both portable and fixed ladders to prevent
a climber from falling. Safety devices for portable ladders include
slip-resistant bases, safety tops, and any other device to increase the ladder
stability. A portable ladder positioned at a location where it may be tipped
over by work activities shall be securely fastened at the bottom and top.
Safety devices for fixed ladders include cages (which enclose the stairwell)
or a restraint belt attached to a sliding fixture anchored to the ladder.
An inspection program should be set up by which all ladders are inspected
once every three months. Appendix B presents a general inspection form.
Ladders that are weak, improperly repaired, damaged, have missing rungs, or
appear unsafe shall be removed from the job or site for repair or disposal.
Before discarding a wood ladder, cut it up so no one can use it again.
Additionally, portable ladders must be maintained in good condition at all
times and inspected frequently. Tag any ladders that have developed defects
with DANGEROUS--DO NOT USE, and remove from service for repair or disposal.
For portable wood ladders, all wood parts shall be free from sharp edges
and splinters; sound and free from accepted visual inspection from shake,
wane, compression failures, decay, or other irregularities. For portable metal
ladders, the design shall be without structural defects or accident hazards
such as sharp edges, burrs, etc. The selected metal shall be of sufficient
strength to meet the test requirements and shall be protected against
corrosion. For fixed ladders, all wood parts shall meet the criteria of wood
ladders. All metal parts shall meet the criteria of metal ladders.
Portable wood ladders may be coated with a water-repellent preservative to
provide a suitable protective material. Metal ladders and metal parts on wood
ladders should be corrosion-resistant and kept free from nicks. If nicks
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