Category Archives: Ladders

Ladder Types

Ladders comprise an almost infinite combination of steps and handholds for ascent and descent from one level to another. In general, there are 12 inches between each level, and the horizontal gripping element and foot placement are called “rungs”.  Rungs can be supported by side rails at each end, typically 16-18 inches apart.  If ladders can be moved by hand or crane, they are called portable.  If they are bolted or welded to the structure, they are called fixed.  Sidestep refers to rungs that continue up and the climber steps to a platform at the side.  A walk-through is a series of rungs that stop, but the side rails continue up and the climber exits to a platform between the side rails.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 121.

Order your copy of “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” today.  This invaluable resource will take you from the structure design stage to post construction maintenance. Click to find out more!

Step Ladders

By their nature, stepladders have a stable angle and are self-supporting when properly used but offer very little opportunity to be secured from tipping.  Therefore, the height limitation for such usage should be minimized, possibly to a maximum working height of 6 feet (or an 8-foot stepladder).  Railed stepladders with depressible casters offer more opportunity for safe access to heights.  These ladder stands should be replaced by elevating platforms to reduce training and observation burdens.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 126.

Order your copy of “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” today.  This invaluable resource will take you from the structure design stage to post construction maintenance. Click to find out more!

Ladder Rung Grip

Only ladder rungs meeting OSHA and ANSI standards should be held while climbing.  Because of the narrow climbing surface, the hands must grip securely to avoid a fall.  Only on horizontal bars are the hands reliable for holding the body weight for a brief time (sufficient for the feet to regain the rung).  However, a near-vertical bar cannot be held securely in any fall situation. Sloped rails have been shown to be appropriate up to a certain pitch.

See “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” page 124.

Order your copy of “Introduction to Fall Protection, 4th Edition” today.  This invaluable resource will take you from the structure design stage to post construction maintenance. Click to find out more!