OSHA Guidelines For Ladder Safety

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Ladder Safety

Keep manufactured and job-made ladders in good condition and free of defects.

Inspect ladders before use for broken rungs or other defects so falls don’t happen. Discard or repair defective ladders.

Secure ladders near the top or at the bottom to prevent them from slipping and causing falls.

When you can’t tie the ladder off, be sure the ladder is on a stable and level surface so it cannot be knocked over or the bottom of it kicked out (Figure 4).

Place ladders at the proper angle (1 foot out from the base for every 4 feet of vertical rise, (Figure 5).

Figure 4. The drawing shows two ways to secure the base of a ladder to ensure proper footing.

Extend ladders at least 3 feet above the landing to provide a handhold or for balance when getting on and off the ladder from other surfaces (Figure 5).

Do not set up a ladder near passageways or high traffic areas where it could be knocked over.

Use ladders only for what they were made and not as a platform, runway, or as scaffold planks.

Always face the ladder and maintain 3 points of contact when climbing a ladder (Figure 6).

Figure 5. When ladders are used for access to an upper level they must extend at least 3 feet above the roof surface.

Figure 6. This worker is climbing a ladder set at the proper angle (4:1) with a three-point contact grip (two hands and one foot).

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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