OSHA Regulations | What are the Requirements on Fixed Ladders?

If your facility requires employees to work on fixed ladders it is important to understand the OSHA regulations that govern the safety of this equipment. Different types of warehouse environments may use fixed ladders. How can you ensure that your team is safe and that you’re in compliance?

7 OSHA Requirements of Fixed Ladders

  • Design requirements for ladders. All ladders must be designed to accommodate a single concentrated load of 200 pounds. The number and addition of other live-load weights must also be considered in the design.
  • Rungs and cleats. The size of the individual rungs is determined based on the use of metal or wood for construction. They must be free of splinters or sharp edges. Rungs must be no further apart than 12 inches and the entire construction of the ladder needs to be consistent. They must be designed so a user’s foot cannot slide off.
  • Side rails. Side rails that may be used to aid climbing must be free of splinters or sharp edges.
  • Welding. Metal ladders need to be welded in a way that is consistent with the OSHA guidelines for the safety of welded equipment.
  • Cages or wells. If a ladder requires a cage or well or leads to a hatch it must be designed according to OSHA safety information regarding these added details.
  • Pitch. Fixed ladders must be at a pitch of 70 to 90 degrees.
  • Maintenance. All fixed ladders, whether metal or wood, need to be inspected and maintained as long as they are being used by employees on the job site. Time between inspections is determined based on use and conditions.

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