Ladders are used when employees need to move up or down between two different levels. Slips, trips, and falls are significant contributors to accidents. Slips, trips, and falls can occur when wrong ladder selection is made and when improper climbing techniques and/or defective ladders are used.
Appropriate ladders must 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 must be implemented.
All wood parts must be free from sharp edges and splinters; sound and free from accepted visual inspection from shake, wane, compression failures, decay, or other irregularities.
Ladders must be maintained in good condition at all times, the joint between the steps and side rails must be tight, all hardware and fittings securely attached, and the movable parts shall operate freely without binding or undue play.
Metal bearings of locks, wheels, pulleys, etc., shall be frequently lubricated.
Ladders must be inspected frequently and those which have developed defects must be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged or marked as "Dangerous, Do Not Use." Ladders with broken or missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails, or other faulty equipment shall not be used; improvised repairs are not allowed.
Step ladder - 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.
Single ladder - 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.
Extension ladder - 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.
Sectional ladder - 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.
Trestle ladder - 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.
Extension trestle ladder - 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.
Special-purpose ladder - 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.
Trolley ladder - a semi-fixed 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.
Side-rolling ladder - a semi-fixed 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.
Ladders must not be used in a horizontal position as platforms, runways, or scaffolds.
Place portable ladders so that the side rails have a secure footing. The top rest for portable rung and cleat ladders must be reasonably rigid and shall have ample strength to support the applied force.
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