Ladder Safety

It shall be the policy of ESCO Group to fulfill its obligations under 29 CFR 1926.1050 to implement its hazards and accident prevention program which addresses all of the hazards potentially present in the workplace.  ESCO Group is committed to an effective ladder safety program.

1. Background

a) The final rule, published on July 1, 1992, is the OSHA standard for occupational health and environmental controls 29 CFR XVII of the Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  Section 1926.1050 contains employee protection requirements for construction.

2. Scope of Application

a) ESCO Group ladder safety program applies to all construction work where an employee may be occupationally exposed to hazards.  All work related to construction, alterations, or repair, including painting and decorating, is included.  Under our plan, construction includes, but is not limited to the following:

i. Demolition or salvage of structures

ii. Removal or encapsulation of materials

iii. New construction, alteration, repair of renovation of structures or substrates

iv. Maintenance operations associated with construction activities described above

3. General Requirements

a) ESCO Group shall be responsible for the ladder safety program to be followed throughout all phases of construction and will provide the safety equipment needed.

b) ESCO Group will provide access to all available ladder safety equipment and shall maintain equipment as per the appropriate standard.

c) ESCO Group shall be responsible for following client site rules for ladder safety.

d) All ladder safety equipment provided by ESCO Group shall be conspicuously located.

e) All ladder safety equipment shall be periodically inspected and maintained in operating conditions.  Defective equipment shall be immediately replaced.

4. Ladder Construction

a) ESCO Group will ensure that the construction of all ladders will conform to the provisions of all applicable state of local codes, whichever are more restrictive.  All ESCO Group ladders shall have non-conductive side rails.  All non-conductive ladders shall meet the ANSI standards for ladders.

5. Fixed Ladders

a) ESCO Group will adhere to the safety standard for fixed ladders, ANSI A14.3. By definition fixed ladders cannot be moved and are designated to provide access to a specific location.  ESCO Group will ensure that all fixed ladders over 20 feet in length will be provided with cages.  When fixed ladders are used on towers, ladder safety devices will be used.  ESCO Group defines a ladder safety device as an appliance that will arrest the fall of an employee should they lose their footing. ESCO Group will utilize safety devices to ensure proper fall protection and provide a landing platform at least every 50 feet, and a rest platform not over 150 feet with ladder safety devices.  ESCO Group will ensure that safety devices for ladders allow a climber to attach a restraint belt to the sliding fixture that travels along a carrier rail, or a cable anchored to the ladder.

6. Slip-Resistant Requirements

a) ESCO Group will ensure that all ladders in use on a construction site will be equipped with slip resistant bases.

b) ESCO Group will also utilize lashings to tie the top of ladders.

7. Inspection and Maintenance

a) After performing the inspection procedures, any ladders found to be damaged or defective shall be tagged “Danger unsafe – DO NOT USE” and removed from service.

b) After performing the inspection, procedures tests performed shall be recorded.  This record shall be kept by means of color-coding.

i. January after checking, color code is Red

ii. March after checking, color code is Blue

iii. May after checking, color code is White

iv. July after checking, color code is Brown

v. September after checking, color code is Yellow

vi. November after checking, color code is Orange

1. Use colored tape to mark ladders.  Place the colored tape on the bottom cross supports of ladders.

2. These inspection procedures should always be completed by the 15th day of the appropriate month.

c) Ladder repairs shall restore the ladder to a condition meeting the original design criteria, before the ladder is returned to use.

8. Coatings

a) ANSI A14.1, Safety Requirements for Portable Wood Ladders, states that “ladders may be coated with a suitable protective material.  Nonconductive preservative paint may be used for identification on one side of the rails only.”  ESCO Group Incorporated’s policy shall be:

i. All wood ladders upon receipt from the vendor shall be given a treatment of water repellent preservative following the manufacturer’s recommendation.

ii. At the discretion of the department using the ladder, they may not be coated with paint, varnish or enamel.

9. Markings

a) ESCO Group shall mark its’ ladders with the name of the contractor to ensure that proper identification will assist in ESCO Group inspection procedure and in storage.

b) ESCO Group will train its employees in the placement, ascending and descending of ladders, and will ensure that employees consider the special hazards involved when using ladders.

10. Storage

a) ESCO Group will store ladders where they will not be exposed to the weather and have proper ventilation.  ESCO Group will keep ladder storage space free of obstruction and accessible at all times to make sure ladders can be obtained quickly in an emergency.

11. Client Rules

a) ESCO Group will adhere and follow any rules our clients have in regards to ladder safety. 

12. Fall Protection per Client Rules

a) ESCO Group will adhere and follow safe fall protection practices if client rules state we are to tie off on ladders while working.

13. Recommended Practices

a) ESCO Group subscribes to ladder safety and will ensure that employees will observe the following practices when ascending or descending ladders:

i. Each employee shall use at least one hand to grasp the ladder when progressing up and/or down the ladder.

ii. An Employee shall not carry any object or load that could cause the employee to lose balance and fall.

iii. Employees will never slide down a ladder.  Employees will not climb higher than their third rung from the top of a stepladder.

iv. Employees shall not overload the capacity of the ladder including personal tools.

b) ESCO Group will ensure that its employees will observe the following general practices:

i. Before using a ladder, they will inspect it for defects.

ii. Employees will ensure that a stepladder is fully open.

iii. Ladders will not be used as guides, braces or skids.

iv. Extension ladders shall be extended 3’ above the top of the upper landing surface.

v. Extension ladders shall be placed at 4:1 ratio when in use.

vi. Employees will never adjust a ladder while a user is standing on the ladder, and will ensure that extension ladder locks are engaged before use.