Ladders are standard tools used in various industries for accessing heights and performing tasks at heights. Not all companies use ladder cages, which can pose significant safety risks if not properly managed.
Understanding OSHA standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established guidelines for ladder use to ensure the safety of workers and compliance with regulations. Here’s what you need to know, with links to the corresponding guideline:
- According to OSHA Standard # 1910.28(b)(9)(i)(A), every existing fixed ladder installed before November 19, 2018, must have a cage, ladder safety system, personal fall arrest system, or well.
- OSHA Standard # 1910.28(b)(9)(i)(B) says that every fixed ladder that is installed on and after November 19, 2018, should have a ladder safety system or a personal fall arrest system.
- Meanwhile, OSHA Standard # 1910.28(b)(9)(i)(C) expounds that when a ladder cage, fixed ladder, or well is replaced, a ladder safety system or a personal fall arrest system must be installed in the repaired section or where the replacement has been placed.
- Finally, OSHA Standard # 1910.28(b)(9)(i)(D) says that on and after November 18, 2036, a ladder safety system or a personal fall arrest system must be equipped on all fixed ladders.
Ladder cages are enclosures installed around fixed ladders to prevent workers from falling off, providing fall protection and a safe climbing environment. Unfortunately, this setup limits its protection to those falling backward and offers no protection to those falling downward.
Meanwhile, ladder safety systems are designed to reduce, if not eradicate, the chances of an employee falling from a ladder. They are made of a personnel carrier, a safety sleeve, a lanyard, connectors, and a body harness. Any existing fixed ladder incorporating this system — even if it already has a ladder cage — will be considered OSHA-compliant.
Do you still have more questions? Visit us at KC Supply Co. for any further clarifications that you may have about the compliance of your ladder cages and fixed ladder setup today.