PESO: Portable Ladders

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Oregon OSHA

Summary Statement

Brief description of the danger and steps a worker can take to work safely when using a ladder. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

Most workers injured in falls from ladders are less than 10 feet above the ladder´s base!

  • Inspect your ladder for tight joints between steps and side rails, cracks, rust, broken rungs and rails, and oily or greasy rungs.

  • Ensure non-slip safety feet on each ladder or, secure ladder to prevent it from sliding on slippery surfaces.

  • Step ladders must have a metal spreader bar.

  • Extend ladder at least 36 inches (3 feet) above the surface served. See Diagram.

  • Check the ladder´s rating and don´t subject it to a load greater than its rated capacity.

  • Use only non-conductive ladders near electrical conductors.

  • Set the ladder on solid footing, against a solid support.

  • Place the base of non-self supporting ladders out away from the wall or edge of the upper level one foot for every four feet of vertical height (1:4). See Diagram.

  • Never increase the height of a ladder by standing it on other objects, such as boxes, barrels, or by splicing two ladders together.

  • Keep ladders away from doorways or walkways, unless they can be protected by barriers.

  • Climb the ladder carefully, facing it and using both hands. Use a tool belt or hand line to carry materials.

  • Keep your body centered. Never let your belt buckle pass beyond either ladder rail. If something is out of reach, get down and move the ladder.

  • Never use ladders as sideways platforms, runways or scaffolds.

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