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Ladders
National Summary

This topic covers OSHA’s regulations for the design, construction, and use of ladders in general industry workplaces.

OSHA’s standards include regulations for the construction, care, and use of portable wooden ladders; care and use of portable metal ladders; and design and maintenance of fixed ladders. There are also requirements for manually propelled mobile ladder stands. Construction industry standards for ladders are separate from general-industry regulations.

For related resources and training materials, refer to the following topics:


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Interpretations OSHA standard for rung spacing on fixed industrial ladders and PPE in powered industrial vehicle battery changing. 04/02/1997National
Interpretations Safety concerns at Montana ski areas and OSHA standards for fixed ladders.(1910.27) 03/07/1995National
Directives 01/26/1993 - STD 1-1.14 - Fixed Ladders Used on Outdoor Advertising Structures/Billboards in the Outdoor Advertising Industry 07/22/2003National
Directives 06/20/1983 - STD 1-1.12 - Application of 29 CFR 1910.27, Fixed Ladders, to Fixed Ladders Used in Emergency Situations 07/18/2003National
Directives 10/30/1978 - STD 1-1.3 - 29 CFR 1910.27(d)(5) - Fixed Ladders, Special Requirements, Ladder Safety Devices, which adopts ANSI A14.3-1956 07/08/2003National
Directives 10/30/1978 - STD 1-15.4 - Interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.268(h)(8) Ladder Requirement Applying to Metal Manhole Ladders 07/09/2003National
Directives 12/29/1978 - STD 1-1.9 - 29 CFR 1910.27, Clarification of Fixed Ladders, Relative to Manhole (Rungs) Steps 07/09/2003National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.25 Portable wood ladders  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.26 Portable metal ladders  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.27 Fixed ladders  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.29 Manually propelled mobile ladder stands and scaffolds (towers)  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.30 Other working surfaces  National
Interpretations A five-gallon paint pail should not be used as a step stool. 09/19/2000National
Talks A Simple Device, and Safe (Word)  National
Training Tips Almost All Ladder Accidents Are Preventable  National
Interpretations Application of hatch covers to the Bilco Type "S" Roof Scuttle. 11/09/1999National
Questions & Answers Are ladder safety cables required to have an annual inspection? 07/27/2010National
Questions & Answers Are rolling stairs, like the type used in a warehouse, considered as portable metal ladders when referring to OSHA regulations? 02/01/2010National
Questions & Answers Can a ladder ever be used as a walk ramp as access/egress to an excavation? 09/07/2011National
Talks Climbing Fixed Ladders (Word)  National
Interpretations Considerations for using a continuous-climb fixed ladder on a steel stack instead of ladder cages and platforms.[1910.27(d)(2); 1910.27(d)(5)] 09/30/2002National
Interpretations Cross-member supports used for climbing communication towers are not fixed ladders under 1910.268(h). 07/23/2007National
Questions & Answers Do fixed or portable ladders need to have a concrete floor to be placed on? ... 11/25/2009National
Posters Don't Get Left Hanging: Use Your Ladder Safely (PDF)  National
Interpretations Enforcement of manhole step specification requirements during rulemaking proceedings.[1910.27] 06/24/2003National
Guidance Documents Falling off ladders can kill: Use them safely  National
Interpretations Fixed ladder requirements for ski lift towers.[1910.27; 1910.27(d)(1)(ii); 1910.27(d)(5)] 06/02/1999National
Interpretations Fixed ladders must be retrofitted to meet 1910.27 design requirements; maximum horizontal spacing requirements for extenstions.[1910.27; 1910.27(d)(1)(i); 1910.27(d)(1)(ii); 1910.27(d)(v)] 05/27/2004National
Training Tips Going Up?  National
Interpretations Guarding of Access Openings to Fixed Ladders.[1910.23; 1910.23(a)(2); 1910.27] 09/29/2009National
Questions & Answers I was researching ladder safety and specifically wanted to know if there were any requirements or guidance documents on storing portable ladders. 02/19/2008National
Questions & Answers Is there an OSHA requirement for a written monthly inspection on all portable metal ladders, or does a written inspection need to be conducted every time it is used? 06/04/2009National
Checklists Ladder and Scaffold Safety (PDF)  National
Handouts Ladder and Scaffold Safety (PDF)  National
Quizzes Ladder and Scaffold Safety (PDF)  National
Trainer's Outlines Ladder and Scaffold Safety (PDF) [Safety Audit Checklists]  National
Talks Ladder and Scaffold Safety (Word)  National
Training Activities Ladder and Scaffold Safety Activity (Word)  National
Audio Presentations Ladder Safety  National
Cartoons Ladder safety  National
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