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Start:Aug 06, 2020

Duration:5 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will increase the ability to apply Cal/OSHA safety standards for the construction industry.

Description: This Navitent will increase the successfulness of applying OSHA's safety standards. This information was taken from Cal/OSHA Pocket Guide f ... Read More

Summary: Safety Made Simple

Step 1

The next Steps cover Cal/OSHA safety regulations for Ladders. Where appropriate, we have referenced the code from Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

The topics we will cover in this Navitent are:

-General Requirements
-Portable Ladders
-Double-Cleat Ladders
-Maximum Lengths
-Two Section Portable Extension Ladders
-Duty Classifications
-Ladders Used In Outdoor Advertising Structures
-Job-Built Ladders Requirements
-Requirements For Portable Ladders
-Fixed Ladders
-Training Requirements For Portable Ladders
-Additional Training

After each of the next Steps, select the 'successful' response to indicate that you have read and understand the Step.

Select 'successful' now and proceed.

Step 2


Falls are the most common cause of worker injury associated with ladder use. Falls are mostly caused by the:

-Use of faulty ladders

-improper set-up of a ladder

-Incorrect use of ladders

Except where either permanent or temporary stairways or suitable ramps or runways are provided, ladders shall be used to give safe access to all elevations. 1675(a)

Step 3

General Requirements

-Portable ladders shall comply with T8 CCR 3276, 1675(b)

-Design and construction of portable ladders shall comply with T8 CCR 3276(c)

-Fixed ladders shall comply with T8 CCR 3277 and 3278, 1675(c)

-Wood parts of fixed ladders shall meet the requirements of T8 CCR 3276(c), 3277(c)(5)

-Extension ladders shall comply with 3276(e)(16)

-Portable metal ladders shall comply with 3276

-Portable wood ladders shall comply with 3276

-Portable reinforced plastic ladders shall comply with 3276(c),(e)

-Single–rail ladders shall not be used

Step 4

Portable Ladders

Portable ladders are generally designed for one-person use to meet the requirements of the person, the task, and the environment. When selecting a ladder for use, consider the ladder length, height, the working load, the duty rating, worker position, and how often the ladder is used.

Step 5

Double-Cleat Ladders

Double-cleat ladders are required for two-way traffic or when 25 or more employees are using a ladder. Double-cleat ladders shall not exceed 24 feet in length.

Step 6

Maximum Lengths

Maximum lengths of portable ladders shall not exceed the following:

-Step ladder = 20 feet

-Two-section extension ladder (wood) = 60 feet

-Two-section extension ladder (metal) = 48 feet

-Three-section extension ladder (metal) = 60 feet

-Two-section extension ladder (reinforced plastic) = 72 feet

-Painter’s step ladder = 12 feet

-Cleat ladder = 30 feet

-Single ladder = 30 feet

Step 7

Two Section Portable Extension Ladders

Minimum overlap in two section portable extension ladders shall not be less than the following:

Ladder Size:

-Up to and including 32 feet = 36 inches of minimum overlap

-Over 32, up to and including 36 feet = 46 inches of minimum overlap

-Over 36, up to and including 48 feet = 58 inches of minimum overlap

-Over 48, up to and including 60 feet = 70 inches of minimum overlap

Step 8

Duty Classifications

Portable ladders shall be used according to the following duty classifications:

Duty Rating/ Ladder Type / Working Load (lbs.)

-Special Duty/ IAA / 375

-Extra Heavy-Duty/ IA / 300

-Heavy-Duty / I / 250

-Medium-Duty / II / 225

-Light-Duty / III / 200

Step 9

Ladders Used In Outdoor Advertising Structures

All portable ladders used in outdoor advertising structures shall be at least Type I, Type IA or Type IAA as designed and constructed in accordance with T8 CCR 3276, 3413(a).

Step 10

Job-Built Ladders Requirements

Job-built ladders must meet the following requirements:

-Job-built ladders must safely support the intended load

-Cleats must be made from clear, straight-grained lumber and must be uniformly spaced 12 inches apart vertically

-Cleats must be nailed at each end with three 10d nails or the equivalent

-Cleats must be blocked or notched into the side rails

-The width of single-cleat ladders shall be 15 inches to 20 inches 1676(f)

-Rails must be made from select Douglas Fir without knots (or the equivalent)

-Rail splicing is permitted only when there is no loss of strength to the rail

-Single-cleat ladders must not exceed 30 feet in length

-Double-cleat ladders must not exceed 24 feet in length

Step 11

Requirements For Portable Ladders

-Inspection and maintenance requirements are below:
a. Ladders shall be inspected frequently by a Qualified Person for visible defects and after any occurrence that could affect their safe use.
b. Ladders shall be maintained in good condition at all times.
c. Metal ladders shall not be exposed to acid or alkali materials that are capable of corroding the ladder and reducing the ladder’s strength, unless recommended otherwise.
d. Remove ladders that have developed defects such as broken or missing steps, rungs, cleats, safety feet, side rails, or other defects from service, and tag or mark them “Dangerous, Do Not Use”.
e. All ladders shall be free of oil, grease, or slippery materials. Wood ladders shall not be painted with other than a transparent material.

-Prohibited uses of portable ladders are given below:
a. Ladders shall not be used as a brace, skid, guy, or gin pole, gang-way, or for uses they were not intended, unless recommended by the manufacturer.
b. Do not place planks on the top cap.
c. Step ladders shall not be used as single ladders or in the partially closed position.

-To safely use portable ladders employees must also follow the requirements noted below:
a. All portable ladders used for window washing shall be equipped with nonslip devices. Middle and top sections shall not be used as bottom sections unless equipped with nonslip bases.
b. Portable ladders shall not be overloaded when used.
c. The base of ladders shall be placed on a secure and level footing. Ladders shall not be placed on unstable bases.
d. Ladders shall not be used on ice, snow, or slippery surfaces unless slippage is prevented.
e. The top of a non self-supporting ladder shall be placed with two rails supported equally, unless a single support attachment is provided and used.
f. Non self-supporting ladders shall, where possible, be used so that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is one-quarter of the working length of the ladder.
g. The ladder shall be so placed as to prevent slipping, or it shall be tied, blocked, held, or otherwise secured to prevent slipping.
h. Ladders shall not be used in a horizontal position as platforms, runways, or scaffolds unless designed for such use.
i. When two or more separate ladders are used to reach an elevated work area, the ladders shall be offset with a platform or landing between the ladders (see exceptions).
j. Extend ladder side rails to at least 3 feet above the landing unless handholds are provided.
k. Do not tie ladders together to provide longer sections unless the ladders are designed for such use and equipped with the necessary hardware fittings.
l. Extension ladders shall be erected so that the top section is above and resting on the bottom section with the rung locks engaged.
m. Do not place ladders in passageways, doorways, driveways, or any location where they may be displaced unless protected by barricades or guards.
n. Climb or work with the body near the middle of the step or rung and do not overreach from this position. To avoid overreaching, the employee shall descend and reposition the ladder.
o. Employees shall be prohibited from carrying equipment or materials which prevent the safe use of ladders.
p. Face the ladder while climbing and descending, and maintain contact with the ladder at three-points at all times.
q. Do not stand and work on the top three rungs of a single or extension ladders.
r. Employees shall not sit, kneel, step or stand on the pail shelf, topcap, or the step below the topcap of a stepladder. Exception: employees may stand on the step below the topcap provided it is located 18 inches under the topcap.
s. Do not use the X-bracing on the rear section of a stepladder for climbing unless the ladder is so designed and provided with steps for climbing on both front and rear sections.
t. Ladders shall not be moved or extended while occupied, unless designed and recommended by the manufacturer.
u. Portable rung ladders with reinforced rails shall be used only with the metal reinforcement on the underside.
v. Non-conductive ladders shall be used in locations where the ladder or user may contact unprotected energized electrical conductors or equipment. Conductive ladders shall be legibly marked with signs reading “CAUTION -- DO NOT USE AROUND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT” or equivalent.
w. The area around the top and bottom of a ladder shall be kept clear.

Step 12

Fixed Ladders

To safely use fixed ladders, employees must also follow the requirements noted below:

-Do not carry equipment or materials which prevent the safe use of ladders

-Fixed ladders shall be inspected before use. Any ladder determined to be unsafe shall not be used

-Face the ladder when ascending and descending

-Always using both hands when climbing up or down the ladder

-Do not use single-rail ladders

Step 13

Training Requirements For Portable Ladders

The following are training requirements for employees using portable ladders:

-Employees shall be trained in the safe use of ladders before using them

-Supervisors of employees who routinely use ladders shall also be trained in ladder safety training

-The training may be provided as part of the employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (T8 CCR 3203)

-The training shall address the following topics, unless the employer demonstrates that a topic is not applicable to the workplace:
a. Importance of using ladders safely including injuries due to falls from ladders.
b. Selection of ladders, including types, proper length, maximum working loads, and electrical hazards.
c. Maintenance, inspection, and removal of damaged ladders from service.
d. Erecting ladders including footing support, top support, securing, and angle of inclination.
e. Climbing and working on ladders including user’s position and points of contact with the ladder.
f. Causes of falls, including haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, footwear, and user’s physical condition.
g. Prohibited uses including climbing on cross bracing, uses other than designed, exceeding maximum lengths, and not meeting minimum overlap requirements.

Step 14


It is a good idea to make sure that the stepladder is properly set up and that the spreader is in the locked position before use.

Step 15

Additional Training

For more in-depth training on Ladder Safety, go to the isodoit Store and enter the keyword 'ladders'. Choose the Navitent (s) that best fits your goals.

Step 16

How much did this Navitent help you to understand the Cal/OSHA safety regulations for Ladders, including:

-General Requirements
-Portable Ladders
-Double-Cleat Ladders
-Maximum Lengths
-Two Section Portable Extension Ladders
-Duty Classifications
-Ladders Used In Outdoor Advertising Structures
-Job-Built Ladders Requirements
-Requirements For Portable Ladders
-Fixed Ladders
-Training Requirements For Portable Ladders
-Additional Training

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