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Safety Guidelines While Climbing Fixed Ladders

Fixed Ladders

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For fixed ladders that extend more than 24 feet (7.3 m) above a lower level, the employer must ensure:

  • Existing fixed ladders: Each fixed ladder installed before November 19, 2018 is equipped with a personal fall arrest system, ladder safety system, cage, or well;
  • New fixed ladders: Each fixed ladder installed on and after November 19, 2018, is equipped with a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system;
  • Replacement: When a fixed ladder, cage, or well, or any portion of a section thereof, is replaced, a personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system is installed in at least that section of the fixed ladder, cage, or well where the replacement is located; and
  • Final deadline: On and after November 18, 2036, all fixed ladders are equipped with a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system. Example: Ladder Vertical Lifeline System.

When a one-section fixed ladder is equipped with a personal fall protection or a ladder safety system or a fixed ladder is equipped with a personal fall arrest or ladder safety system on more than one section, the employer must ensure:

  • The personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system provides protection throughout the entire vertical distance of the ladder, including all ladder sections; and
  • The ladder has rest platforms provided at maximum intervals of 150 feet (45.7 m).

The employer must ensure ladder sections having a cage or well if:

  • Are offset from adjacent sections; and
  • Have landing platforms provided at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m).
    The employer may use a cage or well in combination with a personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system provided that the cage or well does not interfere with the operation of the system.
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