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Ladders & Scaffolding


  • On any job requiring a ladder, use only approved sturdy ladders on a firm base.
  • Non-slip safety feet should be provided on each metal or rung ladder. Ladder rungs and steps should be free of grease and oil.
  • All ladders should be inspected for damage. Employees are prohibited from using ladders that are broken, have missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails, or other faulty equipment.
  • Employees are prohibited from using ladders as guys, braces, skids, gin poles, or for other than their intended purpose.
  • Portable metal ladders should be legibly marked with signs reading "CAUTION Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment" or equivalent wording.
  • Extension ladders shall be kept from slipping or tipping by tying off the ladder at the top and securing the ladder at the bottom.
  • The ladder should extend at least three feet above the landing area. Whenever possible, angle out the base one-fourth of the ladder's working length.
  • Never stand on the top two steps of any ladder.
  • Ladders should not be placed in front of doors opening toward the ladder unless the door is blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • Face the ladder while climbing and use both hands. Lift equipment and materials with a rope specifically for that purpose, don't carry the equipment up a ladder with one hand.


  • Scaffolding should be used if solid footing or a safe ladder is not available. Caster brakes should be set before an employee gets on a scaffold. If no brakes are available, another employee should be in position to secure the scaffold.
  • Scaffolding shall be secured at intervals of 15 feet to a solid support. Secure by wire, cable, chain or rope.
  • Ladders, boxes, etc. should not be set on scaffolds to increase working heights.
  • Scaffolds should not be moved with employee(s) or materials on the scaffold.
  • Scaffolding shall not be moved until its height is reduced below 15 feet. Sufficient help shall be used to move the scaffold. A "watcher" shall be posted to watch for overhead obstructions as well as holes, etc., at ground level.
  • Guardrails and toe boards are required on any scaffold over five feet high.
  • Flooring shall be solid from side-to-side and secured in place with cleats.
  • Keep all tools and materials away from the edges of the scaffold and platform openings.
  • Scaffolding over 50 feet high shall be inspected by the environmental health and safety manager.