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Guidelines For The Safe Use Of Fixed Ladders, Mobile Ladder Stands & Platforms.

Fixed Ladders

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The employer must ensure:

  • Fixed ladders are capable of supporting their maximum intended load.
  • The minimum perpendicular distance from the steps or rungs, or grab bars, or both, to the nearest permanent object in back of the ladder is 7 inches (18 cm) and 4.5 inches (11 cm) for pit ladders.
  • Grab bars do not protrude on the climbing side beyond the rungs of the ladder that they serve.
  • The side rails of through or sidestep ladders extend 42 inches (1.1 m) above the top of the access level or landing platform served by the ladder.
  • For through ladders, the steps or rungs are omitted from the extensions, and the side rails are flared to provide not less than 24 inches (61 cm) and not more than 30 inches (76 cm) of clearance. When a ladder safety system is provided, the maximum clearance
    between side rails of the extension must not exceed 36 inches (91 cm).
  • For side-step ladders, the side rails, rungs, and steps must be continuous in the
    extension.
  • Individual-rung ladders are constructed to prevent the employee’s feet from sliding off
    the ends of the rungs.
  • Fixed ladders having a pitch greater than 90 degrees from the horizontal are not used.

Mobile Ladder Stands and Platforms

The employer must ensure:

  • The steps and platforms of mobile ladder stands, and platforms are slip resistant. Slip resistant surfaces must be either an integral part of the design and construction of the mobile ladder stand and platform, or provided as a secondary process or operation, such as dimpling, knurling, shot blasting, coating, spraying, or applying durable slip resistant tapes;
  • Mobile ladder stands and platforms are capable of supporting at least four times their maximum intended load;
  • Wheels or casters under load are capable of supporting their proportional share of four times the maximum intended load, plus their proportional share of the unit’s weight;
  • Mobile ladder stands and platforms with a top step height of 4 feet (1.2 m) or above should have handrails. Removable gates or non-rigid members, such as chains, may be used instead of handrails in special use applications;
  • The maximum work-surface height of mobile ladder stands, and platforms does not exceed four times the shortest base dimension, without additional support. For greater heights, outriggers, counterweights, or comparable means that stabilize the mobile ladder stands and platforms and prevent overturning must be used;
  • Mobile ladder stands and platforms that have wheels or casters are equipped with a system to impede horizontal movement when an employee is on the stand or platform; and
  • No mobile ladder stand or platform moves when an employee is on it.
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