How to Setup a Portable Ladder | Safety, Hazards, Training, Oregon OSHA

November 6, 2019 posted by

Bryon: Employers need to make sure that when
they’re instructing employees on how to set up a ladder, when they’re training them on
how to use a ladder, that they are training first and foremost to the
manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer knows how the ladder is designed
to be used, what it is intended to be used for, and they need to be following those instructions. But, generally, we want to make sure that
the ground conditions are satisfactory to support the load, which is why we have rules
that say you can’t set ladders up on top of boxes or barrels, that sort of stuff. If it’s going to be set up in outdoor situations,
that the ground is firm enough, that it is level, so the foundation where you’re setting
up the ladder is appropriate. Next, we would want to make sure that the
location where the ladder is being set up, is appropriate. We would always want to look overhead, make
sure that there is no electrical hazards while we’re setting up the ladder, or where the
ladder is going to be used. We would want to make sure that the ladder
is in a safe location. A ladder that is set up in front of a doorway,
and once the employee goes up on that that ladder, they’re trusting that no one is going
to open that door and knock them off or displace them off of the ladder. So, forethought needs to be put into the actual
placement of the ladder. How do we block, or barricade, or lock that
door? Or post another employee in front of that
door, instructing people that the door is not available for use until the person is
off of the ladder. We’re always going to look at non self-supporting
ladders to make sure that the ladder is set up in the correct angle, to make sure that
the ladder can properly support the person who is on it. And then any time a ladder is used to gain
access to a higher level, part of that setup is to make sure that the ladder is sufficiently
long enough, that the ladder extends a minimum of three feet above the point where the employee
is going to be stepping off of the ladder, on to the upper structure. Oftentimes, securing the ladder to prevent
movement, when the employee is stepping off of the ladder, needs to be taken into consideration
also. Those are just a few things that an employer
should think about when they’re setting up the ladder. But, ultimately, they’re going to follow the
manufacturer’s instructions for ladder usage. Jeff: A lot of guys don’t know what the calculation
is for a ladder; 1 to 4, so for every 4 feet it goes up, you have to be one foot back. How to check that? Because if it’s too steep, you’ll tip back;
if it’s too flat, it’ll kick out. So, you see, a lot of guys they just don’t
understand that and just throw a ladder up. And once they throw a ladder up, they think
I’m good; they don’t tie their ladder off. A lot of people think, oh I just have to tie
it off at the top, a lot of times; No, if you’re near hole, or a garbage chute, or anything
like that, you need to secure the bottom feet too. Because if it kicks out, you know, that’s
just to make sure it doesn’t slide. They have straps and everything now, you can
just go around the bottom rung and go back in. So, those are the major things you see. You have to think about it this way, here’s
how the fall works. You put an extension ladder up to the roof,
you have a foot on a movable object, and you’ve got a foot on a non movable object, the roof
or the platform. You’re going to push off that movable object
with the foot, and what’s going to move? The movable object. And that’s because you didn’t tie your ladder
off before you got on it and it kicked out sideways on you. So, those are the mistakes we see a lot of
times. The other mistake is, in order for you to
exit a ladder, to get on a platform, or any kind of roof, or anything, you have to be
at least three feet above the surface with your ladder, three rungs.

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