Stairways and ladders are a major source of injuries and fatalities among workers. OSHA estimates there are as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls from stairways and ladders used in construction. This course is designed to provide both employers and employees with the knowledge needed to work safely on stairways and ladders.
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Stairways and ladders are a major source of injuries and fatalities among workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2012), 14 percent of all work-related deaths are due to falls, with 20 percent of these deaths being related to the use of ladders. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates there are more than 24,000 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls from stairways and ladders used in construction. Nearly half of these fall-related injuries are serious enough to require time off the job. These statistics are a sobering reminder of the dangers faced when work on or around ladders and stairways. More importantly, most, if not all, of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented.
Let’s take a look at the standard. OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.1053 was written for the construction industry, but the standard should be applied to all ladder use, regardless of the industry. Here are some of the general requirements of the standard that apply to all ladders, regardless of type:
All stairway and ladder fall protection systems required by these rules must be installed and all duties required by the stairway and ladder rules must be performed before employees begin work that requires them to use stairways or ladders and their respective fall protection systems.
This course is designed to provide both employers and employees with the knowledge needed to work safely on stairways and ladders.
To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.
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Course 603 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.
cleat — a ladder crosspiece of rectangular cross section placed on edge upon which a person may step while ascending or descending a ladder.
double-cleat ladder — a ladder with a center rail to allow simultaneous two-way traffic for employees ascending or descending.
failure — Load refusal, breakage or separation of components.
fixed ladder — a ladder that cannot be readily moved or carried because it is an integral part of a building or structure.
handrail — a rail used to provide employees with a handhold for support.
job-made ladder — a ladder that is fabricated by employees, typically at the construction site; non-commercially manufactured.
load refusal — the point where the structural members lose their ability to carry the load.
point of access — all areas used by employees for work-related passage from one area or level to another.
portable ladder — a ladder that can be readily moved or carried.
riser height — the vertical distance from the top of a tread or platform/landing to the top of the next higher tread or platform/landing.
side-step fixed ladder — a fixed ladder that requires a person to get off at the top to step to the side of the ladder side rails to reach the landing.
single-cleat ladder — a ladder consisting of a pair of side rails connected together by cleats, rungs or steps.
stair rail system — a vertical barrier erected along the unprotected sides and edges of a stairway to prevent employees from falling to lower levels.
temporary service stairway — a stairway where permanent treads and/or landings are to be filled in at a later date.
tread depth — the horizontal distance from front to back of a tread, excluding nosing, if any.