Tech Talk Blog

Are Your Access Ladders OSHA Compliant?

Access ladders are one of the hardest hit areas by OSHA’s released revised Walking Working Surfaces regulations.  Although the most commonly mentioned change is the phase out of ladder cages as an acceptable form of fall protection on ladders extending 24 feet or more above a lower level, here are some equally important regulatory changes that may spell non-compliance for ladders in your facility.

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Buying the Right Ladder Could Save Thousands of Dollars in Installation Costs

man climbing roof access ladderEHS and facility managers who buy safety equipment and systems want to save money whenever they can. So, whether they are shopping for rooftop guardrail, a horizontal lifeline or a wall-mounted access ladder, they want to secure the best price.

Taking a moment to examine the total, installed cost, however, may be quite revealing when the safety item is a roof access ladder. Because part of your total cost is labor required to permanently mount a fixed-in-place access ladder, any in-field alterations or installation complications can drive costs significantly higher than expected.

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Do Your Permanently Mounted Fixed Ladders Still Comply with OSHA Regulations?

OSHA’s Slips, Trips, and Falls Regulations (Updated July 2017) cover a broad range of fall protection topics, including fixed ladders. For fixed ladders, the most important rule changes involve width and offset distance requirements.

In addition, importantly, cage systems will no longer be an acceptable protection device for ladders 24 feet and higher installed after November 19, 2018.

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24-Foot Rule for Mounted Access Ladders

Recently, we’ve seen much confusion over the fixed access ladder heights, and when fall protection is required.  For example, we recently fielded an e-mail inquiry asking if a 50 foot ladder consisting of 10 foot sections requires fall protection. We’ve also had clients ask if fall protection is needed on a 20 foot ladder that starts 10 feet off the ground.  If you are confused by when your fixed access ladder needs some form of fall protection, we have just the post for you…..

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OSHA’s NEW Fixed Ladder Standards: 5 Measurements You Need to Know

With the deadline approaching, people have been talking about OSHA’s Revised Walking Working Standards and how those new standards relate to fixed ladders installed after mid-November of 2018.

OSHA’s new ladder regulations have been highlighted in various safety magazines and online posts, (you can download our entire primer here) but if you are looking for a “starter” list of pertinent ladder dimensions to ensure compliance, we have just the post for you.

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2018 OSHA Regs: Ladder Cages No Longer Fall Protection Compliant Beginning Nov. 19, 2018

IMPORTANT REMINDER: As described in this post, new OSHA regulations for fixed ladders take effect next quarter – November 19, 2018.

Ladder Cages will NOT qualify as a safety system on fixed ladders of 24′ or taller installed after November 18, 2018.

If you are wondering when a fixed ladder requires fall protection, which forms of ladder fall protection are OSHA compliant, or if ladder cages still comply with OSHA’s revised regulations, we have just the post for you.

If you examine the latest regulations, you’ll note that OSHA 1910.28(b)(9) requires General Industry employers to provide fall protection on fixed ladders of 24′ or taller installed on or after November 19, 2018. Personal fall protection systems like Latchways® Vertical Ladder Lifeline Kits will be REQUIRED on new installations meeting these parameters.

From a best practices standpoint, we have never been fans of ladder cages because they don’t arrest falls.  You can strike your head during a fall, lose consciousness, and create an extremely difficult rescue scenario for first responders.  There are also cases of gruesome entanglements where falling workers tear off body parts during a rapid, uncontrolled descent.

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Did You Know?

All skylight screens must be able to support 200 pounds in a perpendicular direction?