Tech Talk Blog

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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Cable Based Ladder Safety Systems – Lifelines for Fall Arrest Applications

Ladder Lifelines ensure your personnel’s safety and security when climbing fixed ladders.

Click to Enlarge Image

Unlike cage systems which often foster a false sense of security, a vertical lifeline can arrest a fall if a worker slips while climbing a ladder.  As of November 19, 2018, based on OSHA’s regulations (July 2017), newly installed vertical access ladders of 24 feet or more will be required to have a personal fall protection system installed.

Traditionally designed “cages” will not be considered compliant.

MSA’s ladder lifeline kits are an ideal solution for worker safety and OSHA compliance – expensive to fabricate, install, and maintain.

LATCHWAYS fixed vertical ladder fall protection kit is compliant with OSHA 1910 Walking-Working Surfaces. Kits are pre-swaged and come in the following lengths:

  • 20ft / 6m
  • 40ft / 12m
  • 55ft / 17m
  • 75ft / 22m
  • 90ft / 27m

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Did You Know?

When stopping a fall, personal fall arrest systems must limit the maximum arresting force on the body to 1,800 pounds?