Ladders, Portable and Fixed

Chapter 296-876, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/06

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WAC 296-876-400

Use

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Your Responsibility:

To use portable ladders safely

Designed use

Workplace acitivites or traffic

Support

Set-up
Climbing and descending
Getting on and off ladders at upper levels
Exposed electrical hazards
Persons on ladders
Multisection ladders

Self-supporting ladders

 

WAC 296-876-40005

Designed use

You must

  • Use ladders only for their intended purpose.

Note

Note:

  • Unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer, don't use a ladder as a:
    • - Brace
    • - Skid
    • - Lever
    • - Guy or gin pole
    • - Gangway
    • - Platform
    • - Scaffold plank
    • - Material hoist


You must

  • Make sure not to overload ladders. Don't exceed either the:
    • - Maximum intended load
      or
    • - Manufacturer's rated capacity.

Definition

Definition:

  • The maximum intended load is the total load of all persons, equipment, tools, materials, transmitted loads, and other loads reasonably anticipated to be applied to a ladder or ladder component at any one time.
  • Ladder type is the designation that identifies the maximum intended load (working load) of the ladder. Ladder types are as follows:
Duty Rating Ladder Type Use Maximum Intended Load (Pounds)
Extra Heavy-Duty
IA
Industry, utilities, contractors

300

Heavy-Duty
I
Industry, utilities, contractors

250

Medium-Duty
II
Painters, offices, light maintenance

225

Light-Duty
III
General household use 200

WAC 296-876-40010

Workplace activities or traffic

You must

  • Protect ladders that are set-up in a location where they could be displaced by workplace activities or traffic by either:
    • - Securing the ladder to prevent accidental displacement
      or
    • - Using a barricade to keep the activities or traffic away from the ladder.
  • Protect ladders that are set-up in front of doors that open towards the ladder by doing at least one of the following:
    • - Block the door open.
    • - Lock the door.
    • - Guard the door to keep it from opening into the ladder.

WAC 296-876-40015

Support

You must

  • Place the ladder either:
    • - With a secure footing on a firm, level support surface
    • or
    • - Secure the ladder to prevent accidental displacement.
  • Make sure a ladder isn't placed on ice, snow, or other slippery surface unless the ladder is prevented from accidental displacement by either:
    • - Securing it
      or
    • - Providing the ladder with slip-resistant feet.

Note

Note:

  • Slip-resistant feet aren't a substitute for care in placing, lashing, or holding a ladder that's used on a slippery surface.

You must

  • Make sure ladders aren't placed on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • Place a straight ladder so the side rails are equally supported by the top support, unless the ladder is equipped with a single support attachment.
  • Make sure the top support of the ladder is reasonably rigid and able to support the load.

WAC 296-876-40020

Set-up

You must

  • Set-up nonself-supporting ladders at a safe angle. The ladder is set at the proper angle when the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is approximately one-quarter the working length of the ladder.
  • Set-up job-made ladders with spliced side rails so that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder isn't greater than one-eighth the working length of the ladder.

 

Definition

Definition:

  • The working length of a nonself-supporting ladder is the length, measured along the rails, from the base support point of the ladder to the point of bearing at the top.
 

Safe Ladder Angle


Working Length = 16'

WAC 296-876-40025

Climbing and descending

You must

  • Have both hands free to hold on to the ladder.
  • Face the ladder when climbing or descending.
  • Keep ladders free of oil, grease, or other slippery materials.
  • Keep the area around the top and bottom of ladders clear.
  • Make sure single-rail ladders aren't used.

Definition

Definition:

  • A single-rail ladder is a portable ladder with crosspieces mounted on a single rail.

WAC 296-876-40030

Getting on and off ladders at upper levels

You must

  • Make sure a ladder used to access an upper level has the side rails extended at least 3 feet (.9 m) above the landing surface if the ladder length permits.
  • Do the following if a ladder used to access an upper level isn't long enough to obtain a 3-foot side rail extension above the landing surface:
    • - Secure the ladder at the top to a rigid support that won't deflect.
    • - Provide a grasping device, such as a grabrail, to assist in mounting and dismounting the ladder.
    • - Make sure the ladder deflection under a load won't, by itself, cause it to slip off its support.
  • Make sure, if 2 or more separate ladders are used to reach an elevated work area, that the ladders are offset with a platform or landing between them.
Exemption

Exemption:

  • A platform or landing isn't required when a portable ladder is used to reach a fixed ladder on structures such as utility towers and billboards where the bottom of the fixed ladder is elevated to limit access.

WAC 296-876-40035

Exposed electrical hazards

You must

  • Use ladders with nonconductive side rails where the ladder could contact uninsulated, energized electric lines or equipment.
  • - Metal ladders or other ladders specifically designed to permit grounding or dissipation of static electricity may be used around high static electrical fields if all of the following are met:

      • Using nonconductive ladders would present a greater hazard than using conductive ladders.
      • Ladders are prominently marked and identified as being conductive.
      • Ladders are grounded when used near energized lines or equipment.

Note

Note:

  • Examples of ladders with conductive side rails are metal ladders, and wood or reinforced plastic ladders with metal side rail reinforcement.

WAC 296-876-40040

Persons on ladders

You must

  • Make sure a ladder isn't moved, shifted, or adjusted while anyone is on it.
  • Secure the ladder at the top and bottom when working from it.
  • Use a safety belt with a lanyard that's secured to the ladder when doing any work that:
    • - Requires the use of both hands
      and
    • - Is done from a ladder more than 25 feet above the ground or floor.
  • Prohibit work being done from a ladder more than 25 feet above the ground or floor if the work requires wearing eye protection or a respirator.

WAC 296-876-40045

Multisection ladders

You must

  • Make sure not to tie or fasten ladder sections together to make longer ladders unless:
    • - The ladder manufacturer endorses this type of use
      and
    • - You have hardware fittings specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Make sure each section of a multisection ladder, when fully extended and locked in position to be used, overlaps the adjacent section as indicated in Table 2, Minimum Required Overlap for Extension Ladders.

Table 2
Minimum Required Overlap for Extension Ladders
If the ladder size (feet) is: Minimum required overlap for a two-section ladder is (feet):
Up to and including 36

3

 

Over 36 up to and including 48

4

Over 48 up to and including 60

5

WAC 296-876-40050

Self-supporting ladders

You must

  • Make sure self-supporting ladders aren't used as single ladders or in the partially closed position.
  • Make sure stepladders are fully opened with the spreaders locked.
  • Make sure not to climb on the rear braces of a self-supporting ladder unless they are designed and recommended for that purpose by the manufacturer.
  • Prohibit standing or stepping on the:
    • - Top cap and top step of a step or trestle ladder.
    • - Bucket or pail shelf of a self-supporting ladder.
Exemption

Exemption:

  • The restriction against using the top step isn't applicable if it's 18 inches or more below the top cap.

 

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