If you are looking for information on Fixed Ladder and Work Platforms Installation, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll find information on the new requirements laid out by OSHA. You’ll also find information on Safety precautions, equipment to install, and inspections that must be documented.
OSHA’s new ladder requirements
OSHA’s new ladder requirements are intended to help prevent worker fatalities and injuries. These new standards apply to all types of ladders, including fixed ones. However, they do not apply to emergency operations or to ladders that are integral to machinery. Employers should make sure they install a ladder safety system on any new ladders, even those with safety cages.
These new standards have several components. The first is the general requirements for all ladders. Other parts are specific for mobile and fixed ladders. The last component is the specific requirements for installation. OSHA requires that ladders twenty-four feet or taller have safety cages. The standard also requires that workers using fixed ladders wear a personal fall arrest system.
Safety precautions to take
Fixed ladders and work platforms are subject to new OSHA requirements that take effect on November 18, 2018. These new standards apply to ladders and work platforms installed more than 20 feet above ground. OSHA has given employers two years to meet the new requirements and update their equipment. The new regulations also require employers to install wells and cages on all ladders and work platforms with heights of 24 feet or more.
Before climbing any ladder, wear a safety harness and use a belt buckle. Make sure that the belt buckle area is centered on the ladder and does not extend outside the side rails. Never use a ladder in a doorway or near a power line. If you must use a ladder, make sure you post a warning sign. If possible, keep the ladder close to the work area.
Equipment to be installed
Fixed ladders and work platforms need to be equipped with safety systems such as personal fall arrest systems. In addition, the steps and platforms must be slip-resistant, and the ladders should be capable of supporting four times the maximum load they are intended to support. Work platforms also need to have casters or wheels that can support a proportional share of the unit’s weight. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides comprehensive guidance on ladder and work platform safety.
Fixed ladders and work platforms must provide safe access to the worker. A worker cannot work on the upper two rungs of a portable ladder or stepladder without a handrail. Moreover, a worker cannot work at underground mining operations unless they are using a fixed work platform with handrail.
Inspections to be documented
Fixed ladders and work platforms should be inspected on a regular basis. Inspections should include checking for damage and debris. They should be in good condition and be free of rusted screws, rungs, or other metal parts. The ladder should also be sturdy and free of cracks, splits, or missing braces. If any of the ladder’s parts is loose, it should be removed from service and replaced.
The safety standards for ladders and work platforms require that they be inspected before each work shift, and more frequently if necessary. Any ladders found to have defects must be tagged “Dangerous: Do Not Use” and removed from service until repairs are completed. Similarly, inspections are required for work platforms and fixed ladders that are installed on machinery or in emergency situations.