A large number of injuries occur each year from the improper use of ladders. The following safe practices addresses the placement and use of ladders.
To comply with OSHA Standard 1910.25-27 "Portable and Fixed Ladders"
All areas using ladders must comply with the OSHA standard. All employees must understand the safe ladder use and practice.
1. Place the ladder base at a 1:4 ratio from the vertical (horizontal/vertical). For every 4 feet of working length the base of ladder should be 1 foot out from the top support (See Illustrations Setup | 4-to-1 Ratio | Securing the Ladder).
2. Extend ladder 3 feet above the top support point.
3. Use ladders only in a vertical position. Ladders are not a substitute for a scaffold or a runway between two elevated surfaces.
4. Keep ladder directly off of window panes or sashes.
5. Keep ladders away from front of a door that opens toward the ladder unless the door is locked, blocked, or guarded.
6. Place a portable ladder so both side rails have secure footing. Provide solid footing on soft ground to prevent the ladder from sinking.
7. Place the ladder feet on a substantial and level base not on movable objects.
8. Lean ladder against secured backing.
9. Securely lash or otherwise fasten ladder to prevent slipping when using a ladder for access to high places.
10. Secure bottom and top of ladder to prevent displacement when using ladder for access to a scaffold.
11. Keep ladder away from electrical wiring.
12. One person at a time will be on a ladder.
Make periodic ladder inspections for structural integrity.
Conduct quarterly inspections as a minimum. Record all inspections made.
Remove defective ladders from service when noted during inspection. Tag it with "DANGEROUS - DO NOT USE". Do not use until ladder is repaired.
Destroy any ladder that cannot be repaired.
Fixed ladders cannot be moved. Provide access to specific elevated locations. All fixed ladders over 20 feet in length must have a cage or well.
Projects requiring the installation of fixed ladders must be done under the direction of a professional engineer. OSHA 1910.27 Sub-part D will be followed.
When fixed ladders are used on towers, tanks, or chimneys, use appropriate ladder safety devices. A ladder safety device is an appliance that will arrest the fall of an individual.