Tech Talk Blog

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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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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New OSHA Regs and Ladder Cages

The new OSHA General Industry fall protection regulations that went into effect in 2017 are prompting a slew of questions  on fixed ladders.  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 ruling, we have just the post for you…..

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Did You Know?

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide and install the proper fall protection systems needed to protect and keep their workers safe?