06/03/2005

Portable Ladders

Ladders are indispensable tools. We take them for granted in our day-to-day
work and use them extensively in virtually all industries. Though they come in
many sizes, shapes, and styles, they all serve the same purpose: to help us
move vertically. They're simply built and easy to use, but they're not always
user friendly. Each year workers are seriously injured when they fall from
ladders. You don't have to fall far to get hurt; most workers injured in falls
from ladders are less than 3 meters above the ladder's base of support.
Why do people fall from ladders if they're so easy to use? In general, most
ladder falls involve portable ladders that move, tilt, or shift while a worker
is climbing or descending. Unstable or slippery base surfaces are the primary
reasons ladders fail. Other reasons include a misstep or a slip of the foot,
loss of balance, an overreach, and being struck by a vehicle or other object.

Workers can reduce ladder fall risks by doing the following:


  • Frequently inspect and maintain ladders
  • Match tasks to appropriate ladders
  • Set up ladders correctly
  • Climb and descend ladders properly

Employers, too, have a responsibility for training workers so they understand
these safe work practices and can use them effectively.

The US Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division has published a guide on
portable ladders including the following topics:


  • Safety requirements for portable ladders
  • Types of Portable Ladders
  • Selecting Ladders
  • Using Ladders
  • At the beginning of each job
  • Placing a ladder
  • Securing a ladder
  • Ascending and descending
  • Securing equipment
  • Precautions
  • Transporting Ladders
  • Storing Ladders
  • Maintaining and Repairing Ladders
  • Improving Slip Resistance
  • Checklists

More information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division