Tuesday, January 11, 2011

OSHA Ladder Safety

Question (1): Do OSHA construction regulations prohibit an employee from working from a portable stepladder?

Answer (1): Title 29 CFR 1926.1053(b), Use, provides:
* * *
(3) Ladders shall not be loaded beyond the maximum intended load for which they were built, nor beyond their manufacturer's rated capacity.
(4) Ladders shall be used only for the purpose for which they were designed.
* * *
(13) The top or top step of a stepladder shall not be used as a step.
* * *
There are no OSHA construction standards that specifically prohibit an employee from working from a portable stepladder. However, the use of a portable ladder must comply with the Use requirements quoted above. If working from a portable stepladder was inconsistent with any of these provisions, such use would be prohibited. Because of the wide variety of circumstances and ladder designs, it is not possible for us to state, as a general matter, whether working from a portable ladder would be consistent or inconsistent with any of these provisions.

Question (2): Is fall protection required while working from a portable stepladder?

Answer (2): In 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart M (Fall protection), Section 1926.500(a)(2)(vii) provides:
Requirements relating to fall protection for employees working on stairways and ladders are provided in Subpart X . . .
* * *
There is no provision in Subpart X that requires fall protection for an employee while working from a portable stepladder. However, if the employee will be on a surface prior to ascending or upon exiting the ladder for which another Subpart in 1926 requires fall protection, then fall protection would be required at such times. General requirements for fall protection can be found at Subpart M of 29 CFR Part 1926, while requirements specific to a particular activity or equipment can be found at its applicable Subpart in 29 CFR Part 1926.

National Safety Compliance has developed construction safety training programs for both Ladder Safety and Fall Protection. For more information about these training programs, please visit this link: Construction Safety Training to meet OSHA Regulations

1 comment:

  1. Ladder safety is all about common sense! If it seems dangerous, do not do it! I have spent years of my life on extension ladders and have not had any serious accidents to this point. Thanks for the clarification on specifics for my workers who may not be as smart as the rest of us!