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Ladders. Care and Use of Ladders. Maintenance programs are very important. Inspect frequently and those which have developed defects shall be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged or marked as "Dangerous, Do Not Use."

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  • Care and Use of Ladders.
    • Maintenance programs are very important.
    • Inspect frequently and those which have developed defects shall be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged or marked as "Dangerous, Do Not Use."
    • Ladders shall be maintained in good usable condition at all times
    • Hardware fittings and accessories shall be checked prior to use and kept in good working condition.
    • When ladders are to be subjected to deteriorating agents, a protective coating shall be applied to the equipment.
    • The joint between the steps and side rails shall 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.
    • Frayed or badly worn rope shall be replaced.
  • Safety feet and other auxiliary equipment shall be kept in good condition to insure proper performance.
  • Rungs shall be kept free of grease and oil.
  • Portable ladders shall be so placed that the side rails have a secure footing. The top rest for portable rung and cleat ladders shall be reasonably rigid and shall have ample strength to support the applied load.
  • Ladders shall not be placed in front of doors opening toward the ladder unless the door is blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • Ladders shall not be placed on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • Ladders with broken or missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails, or other faulty equipment shall not be used.
  • On two-section extension ladders the minimum overlap for the two sections in use shall be as follows:

Size of Ladder (Feet) Overlap (Feet)

Up to and including 36............................... 3

Over 36 up to and including 48................... 4

Over 48 up to and including 60....................5

  • Roof access: the top of the ladder extends at least 3 feet above the point of support at eave, gutter, or roof line.
  • Non-slip bases when there is a hazard of slipping. Non-slip bases are not intended as a substitute for care in safely placing, lashing, or holding a ladder that is being used upon oily metal, concrete, or slippery surfaces.
  • Ladders shall not be used as a brace, skid, guy or gin pole, gangway, or for other uses than that for which they were intended, unless specifically recommended for use by the manufacturer.
  • Electrical Hazards. Portable metal ladders shall not be used in the vicinity of electrical circuits in places where they may come in contact with them. Portable metal ladders shall be legibly marked with signs reading “CAUTION--Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment,” or equivalent wording.

Depending on the material and type of ladder, different ANSI safety codes apply. The ANSI codes are as follows:

Wood Ladder

ANSI A14.1

Metal Ladder

ANSI A14.2

Fixed Ladder

ANSI A14.3

Fiberglass Ladder

ANSI A14.5

Steel Ladder

ANSI A14.7

Stage Platform

ANSI A10.8

Rolling Scaffold

ANSI A10.8

Special Duty

ANSI A14.10


ANSI Duty Rating System

Type IA 300lbs Extra heavy duty industrial

Type IAA 375lbs Special duty

Type I 250lbs Heavy duty Industrial

Type II 225lbs Medium duty commercial

Type III 200lbs Light duty household

other ways to elevate employees
Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Aerial Device - Vehicle-mounted or self-propelled device, telescoping extensible or articulating, or both, which is primarily designed to position personnel.
  • Aerial Ladder - An aerial device consisting of a single-or-multiple-section extension ladder.
  • Articulating Boom - An aerial device with two or more hinged boom sections.
  • Elevating Work Platform - A device designed to elevate a platform in a substantially vertical axis. (Vertical Tower, Scissor Lift, Mast-Climbing Work Platform)
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Equipment Instructions & Markings
    • Each unit shall have a manual containing instructions for maintenance and operations in a weather resistant storage location on the elevating work platform or aerial device.
    • Each aerial device or elevating work platform placed in service prior to December 23, 1999 shall have a conspicuously displayed legible plate or other legible marking verifying the aerial device or elevating work platform is designed and manufactured in accordance with applicable specifications.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Operating Instructions For Elevating Work Platforms
    • Can we ride in them???? Maybe.
      • The travel speed at Maximum Travel Height limited to 3 feet (0.9m) per second.
      • Self-propelled units shall be equipped with electrical or other interlock means which will prevent driving them with the platform height greater than the Maximum Travel Height or at speeds greater than permitted at Maximum Travel Height.
      • The surface upon which the unit is being operated is level with no hazardous irregularities or accumulation of debris which might cause a moving platform to overturn.
      • (Exception: TV and Movie Camera Booms.)
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Other operating safety rules:
    • Employees shall not sit, stand or climb on the guardrails of an elevating work platform or use planks, ladders, or other devices to gain greater working height or reach.
    • Where moving vehicles are present, the work area shall be marked with warnings such as flags, roped off areas or other effective means of traffic control shall be provided.
    • In operations involving production of small debris, chips, etc., and the use of small tools and materials, and where persons are required to work or pass under the equipment, screens shall be required between toeboards and guardrails. The screen shall extend along the entire opening, shall consist of No. 18 gage U.S. Standard Wire 1/2 inch mesh, or equivalent.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Operating Instructions For Aerial Devices
    • Aerial baskets or platforms shall not be supported by adjacent structure(s) when workers are on the platform or in the basket while in an elevated position.
    • Lift controls shall be tested in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations or instructions prior to use to determine that such controls are in safe working condition.
    • Only authorized persons shall operate an aerial device.
    • Belting off to an adjacent pole, structure, or equipment while working from an aerial device shall not be permitted.
    • Employees shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders or other devices to gain greater working height.
    • When elevating personnel with the vehicle stationary the braking systems shall be set.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Provided they can be safely installed, wheel chocks shall be installed before using an aerial device on an incline.
  • When used, outriggers shall be positioned on pads or a solid surface. All outriggers shall be equipped with hydraulic holding valves or mechanical locks at the outriggers.
  • The route to be traveled is surveyed immediately prior to the work trip, checking for overhead obstructions, traffic, holes in the pavement, ground or shoulder, ditches, slopes, etc., for areas other than paved, a survey should be made on foot.
  • The speed of the vehicle does not exceed three (3) miles per hour.
  • Only one employee is in the basket.
  • Both the driver and/or the elevated employee have been specifically trained for this type of work (towering) in accordance with the manufacturer\'s recommendations.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Lower level controls shall not be operated unless permission has been obtained from the employee in the device, except in case of emergency.
  • An employee, while in an elevated aerial device, shall be secured to the boom, basket or tub of the aerial device through the use of a safety belt, body belt or body harness equipped with safety strap or lanyard.
    • Safety belts/body belts are prohibited for use in personal fall arrest systems, but may be used as part of a fall restraint or positioning device system.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Elevating Employees with an industrial truck (forklift or scissors bed truck)
    • The platform shall be of sufficient size, but not less than 24" x 24" (.61 meters x .61 meters) to accommodate the employee and material being elevated.
    • The platform shall be secured to the forks or mast to prevent tipping, slipping or falling.
    • The platform shall have a guardrail and toeboard safety belt, or harness, with lanyard.
    • The platform floor shall have no spaces or holes greater than one inch; and
    • The platform floor shall have a slip resistant surface.
    • A means to prevent the raised platform form lowering at a rate in excess of 135 feet per minute in case of a failure in the load supporting hydraulic control circuits.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Overhead protection for the operator from falling objects
  • An operator in the control position in the truck while employees are on the elevated platform.
  • Means shall be provided to render inoperative all operating controls other than those on the elevatable platform when the controls on the elevatable platform have been selected for use. Only one location of controls shall be capable of being operated at one time.
  • All bridge cranes or other moving or motorized equipment which could overrun or otherwise injure the elevated worker shall be shut down or locked out.
  • Employees shall not sit, climb or stand on the platform guardrails or use planks, ladders or other devices to gain elevation.
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Other Ways To Elevate Employees
  • Operating Rules Whenever Elevating Personnel. Before elevating personnel, employees shall be instructed to:
    • Use a securely attached safety platform.
    • Make sure the lifting mechanism is operating smoothly.
    • Make sure that the mast is vertical. The mast shall not be tilted forward or rearward while persons are elevated.
    • Place truck in neutral and set parking brake.
    • Lift and lower smoothly and with caution.
    • Watch for overhead obstructions.
    • Keep hands and feet clear of controls other than those in use.
    • Never travel with personnel on the work platform other than to make minor movements for final positioning of the platform.