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Portable Ladders

This checklist is not all-inclusive. You should add to it or delete items that do not apply to your business; however, carefully consider each item and make your decision. You should refer to Minnesota statutes and rules, and federal OSHA standards adopted by reference in Minnesota for specific guidance that may apply to your work situation (see (Note: This checklist is typical for general industry but not for construction or maritime industries.)
  • Are all ladders maintained in good condition, joints between steps and side rails tight, all hardware and fittings securely attached, and moveable parts operating freely without binding or undue play?
  • Are non-slip safety feet provided on each metal or rung ladder, and are ladder rungs and steps free of grease and oil?
  • Are employees prohibited from placing a ladder in front of doors opening toward the ladder unless the door is blocked open, locked, or guarded?
  • Are employees prohibited from placing ladders on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain additional height?
  • Are employees required to face the ladder when ascending or descending?
  • Are employees prohibited from using ladders that are broken, have missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails, or other faulty equipment?
  • Are employees instructed not to use the top step of ordinary stepladders as a step?
  • When portable rung ladders are used to gain access to elevated platforms, roofs, etc., does the ladder always extend at least 3 feet (0.9144 meters) above the elevated surface?
  • Are employees required to secure the base of a portable rung or cleat type ladder to prevent slipping, or otherwise lash or hold it in place?
  • Are portable metal ladders legibly marked with signs reading "CAUTION - Do Not Use Around Electrical Equipment" or equivalent wording?
  • Are employees prohibited from using ladders as guys, braces, skids, gin poles, or for other than their intended purposes?
  • Are employees instructed to only adjust extension ladders while standing at a base (not while standing on the ladder or from a position above the ladder)?
  • Are metal ladders inspected for damage?
  • Are the rungs of ladders uniformly spaced at 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) center to center?
Source: Federal OSHA