With ladder safety procedures in place, safety liability for personnel and building owner liability can be reduced. The installation and stability of fixed ladders decreases the risks associated with mobile ladders.
OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) provides fixed ladder safety guidelines for building owners, tenants, employees, vendors, building envelope contractors and roofers. Cages are no longer considered an acceptable form of fall protection per OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces Standard (OSHA 1910) that was revised January 17th 2017. As with most major standard revisions, these changes are introduced in phases.
Bottom line: all fixed ladders 24 ft or taller (20 ft or taller in California) require a fall protection system. Building owners who have fixed ladders without any form of fall protection, such as cages or fall arrest systems, are non compliant and may be in violation of OSHA regulations. By 2036, fixed ladders will require a Personal Fall Arrest System. This is a cable trolley or similar system and a Personal Harness System with a Lanyard.
What should building owners do now for compliance and to avoid an OSHA citation?
- 1.Existing fixed ladders that are greater than 24 ft in vertical height (20 ft or taller in California) with no current fall protection system in place, must have fall arrest systems installed to avoid OSHA citations.
- 2.New ladders installed or the replacement of existing ladders (that exceed the above mentioned height requirements) must install proper fall protection. This revision came into effect as of November 18, 2018.
- 3.If safety cages are in place on existing ladders, they must be retrofitted with a Personal Fall Protection System by 2036.
- 4.Personal Harness Systems must have a front or forward facing D ring. Building owners will need to train their personnel to properly use the harness and fall arrest system.
- 5.Installing a Personal Fall Arrest System on an existing ladder requires the building owner verify that the structure (ladder) and attachment to the structure is capable of supporting the potential load of a fall.
- 6.By 2036, all fixed ladders (that exceed the above mentioned height requirements) will require Personal Fall Arrest System.
“Building owners should be proactive in their approach to providing a safe working environment with regard to ladders,” reminds Derek Tokarz, Marketing Manager, FixFastUSA. “Cage ladder rules changed after extensive research and testing. A cage may not be the safest option for fall protection as it does not always stop a person from falling or safely arrest their fall.”
Your CentiMark representative can assist you with compliance regarding existing and future fixed ladders. This process includes an inspection of your existing ladders, estimated cost for compliance for retrofit or replacement and a timeline to distribute the costs prior to the 2036 deadline.