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UW Medical Foundation
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Subject: Ladder Safety Policy
Effective Date: 5/06 Approved: Mike Holman, EHIC/ Safety Mgr
Supersedes Policy Date: 6/11/98 Revision #3
Distribution: Safety Manual
I. POLICY STATEMENTS:
Facilities personnel and those using ladders belonging to the Facilities Department will
adhere to the requirements within this policy to ensure the proper use of ladders and
the safety of those using them.
Ladder – an appliance usually consisting of two side rails joined at regular intervals by
crosspieces on which a person may step to ascend or descend.
Load Rating: Type 1 A – extra heavy duty (maximum load 300lbs)
Type I – heavy duty (maximum load 250lbs)
Type II – medium duty (maximum load 225lbs)
Type III – light duty (maximum load 200lbs)
Single Ladder – a non self-supporting portable ladder, nonadjustable in length,
consisting of but one section. Its size is designed by overall length of the side rail.
Extension Ladder – a non self-supporting portable ladder adjustable in length.
Step Ladder – a self-supporting, portable ladder, non-adjustable in length, having flat
steps and hinged back.
Ladder Inspection – before using any ladder, be sure to check for the following:
All hardware and fittings are securely attached.
Moving parts operate freely.
Steps, side rails and safety feet (on all rails) are in good condition.
Rungs and other ladder components are free of grease, oil and
Immediately check fallen ladders for damage.
On extension ladders, rung locks, rope and pulley operate correctly and
are in good condition.
VERY IMPORTANT: any ladder having defects shall not be used; rather,
defective ladders must be reported to Facilities Manager or Building/ Grounds
Supervisor, tagged “Dangerous: Do Not Use” and removed from service.
Ladder Safety Rules:
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Ladders in General Step Ladders Extension Ladders
Ladders must not be placed in front of
doors opening toward the ladder;
unless the door is blocked open or
Ladders must not be placed on top of
boxes, barrels, loose gravel or other
unstable bases to obtain additional
Ladders must not be used to gain
access to a roof unless the top of the
ladder extends at least 3 feet above
the point of support (at eave, gutter or
When ascending or descending, the
user must face the ladder at all times.
Do not exceed the load capacity of the
Use only wooden or fiberglass ladders
when doing electrical work or working
near electrical circuits where contact
could occur (even if changing a light
Always maintain at least three points of
contact with the ladder. Use both
hands for climbing.
When possible, tie-off ladder and block
feet to prevent ladder from falling when
Single ladders longer than 30 feet shall
not be used.
Base of ladder should be placed a
distance from vertical wall that is ¼ the
working length of ladder.
Top of ladder must be placed with the
2 rails supported.
Do not use ladders for other uses than
that for which they are intended.
Ladders should not be used by more
than one person at a time.
Before use, all 4 legs must
be level and on a firm
base. The spreaders must
be fully opened and
Never use a folded step
ladder as single ladder.
Do not climb, stand or sit
on the top 2 rungs.
Step ladders shall not
exceed 20 feet in length.
Short ladders must not be
spliced together to provide
When possible, tie-off
ladder and block feet to
prevent ladder from falling
When unable to tie-off,
consider using something
to counterweight the
ladder (i.e. sand bag).
If unable to secure ladder,
have someone stand at
bottom with both feet
braced against the side
rails to hold it steady.