OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Portable Ladders

Portable Ladders

  • Are all ladders maintained in good condition, joints between steps and side rails tight, all hardware and fittings securely attached and moveable parts operating freely without binding or undue play?
  • Are non-slip safety feet provided on each ladder?
  • Are non-slip safety feet provided on each metal or rung ladder?
  • Are ladder rungs and steps free of grease and oil?
  • Is it prohibited to place a ladder in front of doors opening toward the ladder except when the door is blocked open, locked or guarded?
  • Is it prohibited to place ladders on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain additional height?
  • Are employees instructed to face the ladder when ascending or descending?
  • Are employees prohibited from using ladders that are broken, missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails or other faulty equipment?
  • Are employees instructed not to use the top step of
  • ordinary stepladders as a step?
  • When portable rung ladders are used to gain access to elevated platforms, roofs, etc., does the ladder always extend at least 3 feet (0.9144 meters) above the elevated surface?
  • Is it required that when portable rung or cleat type ladders are used, the base is so placed that slipping will not occur, or it is lashed or otherwise held in place?
  • Are portable metal ladders legibly marked with signs reading "CAUTION" - Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment" or equivalent wording?
  • Are employees prohibited from using ladders as guys, braces, skids, gin poles, or for other than their intended purposes?
  • Are employees instructed to only adjust extension ladders while standing at a base (not while standing on the ladder or from a position above the ladder)?
  • Are metal ladders inspected for damage?
  • Are the rungs of ladders uniformly spaced at 12 inches, (30.48 centimeters) center to center?