When should you inspect fixed ladders?
- Inspect the fixed ladder before each use.
- Inspect fixed ladders periodically, at least annually. Inspections may be required more frequently depending on the organization's requirements or the ladder's exposure to elements such as weather or salt air.
- Report any defect promptly.
- Keep a record of every inspection.
What should you check for when inspecting access ladders?
- loose, worn and damaged rungs or side rails
- damaged or a corroded cage
- corroded guard, bolts and rivet heads
- damaged or corroded handrails and brackets on platforms
- broken or loose anchorages
- weakened or damaged rungs on brick or concrete slabs
- defects in climbing devices, including loose or damaged carrier rails or ropes
- slippery surfaces from oil and ice
- clutter obstructing the base of ladder or platform
- the proper functioning of any safety gates
What should you do when climbing a fixed ladder?
- Wait until the other person has exited before ascending or descending.
- Use the appropriate safety devices (e.g., restraint belt, traveling fixture, vertical lifelines, safety rail).
- Maintain three-point contact by keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on a ladder always.
- Face ladder and use both hands to grip the rungs firmly.
- Place feet firmly on each rung.
- Wear footwear with heels. Ensure that footwear is in good condition.
- Clean muddy or slippery boot soles before mounting a ladder.
- Rise or lower tools and materials using a hand-line.
What should you avoid when climbing a fixed ladder?
- Avoid climbing with wet or muddy soles that may increase the chances of slipping.
- Do not carry tools or materials in your hand while climbing. Carry small tools in a tool pouch.
- Do not jump from a ladder. Check footing before descending a ladder.
- Do not hurry up or slide down a ladder.
- Climbing ladders above 3 metres (10 feet) also require the use of fall protection.
Document last updated on January 8, 2021