Ladder Inspection Checklist

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Ladders were the fourth among the most frequently cited violations of the OSHA (United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards in 2022.

OSHA maintains 1910.23, 1926.1053, and 1910.30 ladder safety standards. So all the ladder safety forms and checklists must be based on these practices to manage the risks efficiently.

How Often Should Ladders Be Inspected?

Under OSHA Standard 1910.23(b)(9), ladders should be inspected “before initial use in each work shift, and more frequently as necessary, to identify any visible defects that could cause employee injury.” OSHA Standard 1926.1053(b)(15) states that competent parties must inspect ladders on a “periodic basis and after any occurrence that could affect their safe use.”

Visual ladder inspections are quick and can still identify several problems. These are the basic examination rules for the popular ladder types:

  • Portable ladders must lay flat on the ground.
  • Resting extension ladders against structures is possible, but climbing the rungs is prohibited.
  • If mounting fixed ladders, it’s important to maintain three points of contact to inspect side rails, grab bars, side rail extension anchors, hatches, and the opening arms of hatches.

What Are the OSHA Step Ladder Requirements?

Standing independently without leaning against a structure makes a step ladder one of the most frequently used in construction. Though step ladders have the same A-frame designs, choosing duty rating and load capacity for the intended use is key to safety.

Here are some general OSHA requirements for step ladders:

  • Step Ladder Components Inspection: Inspections should account for the structure and condition of step ladders.
  • Ladder Type and Duty Rating: 1AA Special Duty, 1A Extra Heavy Duty, 1 Heavy Duty, II Medium Duty, and III Light Duty are recommended.
  • Matching Use and Load Capacity: For instance, a Type 1AA Special Duty step
  • hecking Ladder Safety Devices: Functional locking braces or spreaders on a step ladder are essential for safe operation.

Making sure that a step ladder meets job requirements can reduce the risks associated with this equipment. Step ladders with damaged or missing pail shelves or platforms should be declared out of service until being repaired to factory design criteria.

Why Use Checklists To Meet Ladder Inspection Requirements?

Ladder safety standards have many sections and can be too time-consuming for quick reference on the job. OSHA also publishes guides to specific types of ladders, but custom checklists can cover the most relevant requirements for ladder inspections.

While competent ladder inspectors can often perform basic checks without referencing standards, checklists help to ensure that all safety measures are taken during equipment inspection. Checklists can also document ongoing compliance with OSHA regulations and worksite safety policies.

How To Train Workers About Safety Rules for Ladders?

Training sessions based on occupational safety standards are imperative prior to work at height. Ongoing toolbox talks can be an excellent way to ensure safety stays top of mind for workers who use ladders regularly.

Customized checklists also make it much easier to guide new technicians across the inspection process. Specialized forms can ensure that any type of ladder, such as a fixed, portable, or step ladder, undergoes a thorough inspection at the start of each shift or on a more frequent basis.

You can learn more about our safety management solution and find recommendations on managing safety documentation in Fluix.

What Should An OSHA Ladder Safety Checklist Cover?

A general safety checklist for ladders based on the 29 CFR 1910.23 and 29 CFR 1926.1053 standards should have several standard sections. Some specifics on a safety inspection checklist may refer to particular types of ladders, but the following measures are relevant to any ladder inspection:

  • Inspection of Ladders: Check the ladder size, type, duty rating, maximum working length, manufacturer, model, and date of manufacture.
  • Ladder Labels Legibility: Make sure any tags, stickers, or labels on a ladder are visible.
  • Rung or Step Traction: Ensure that no substances such as grease or mud have built up on rungs or steps.
  • Equipment Safe for Use: Indicate whether a ladder can be safely used during a shift or tag and declare damaged or defective equipment out of service.

Particular types of ladders may have specific inspection requirements. Refer to OSHA standards for information about the safe use of each piece of equipment.

Why Are Digital Checklists Helpful for Ladder Inspections?

Checklists break down ladder inspections into tasks that can be checked off as complete or used to flag the damaged equipment. Assigning digital forms to competent staff is the most effective way to log and track compliance and ensure no safety steps are skipped.

Digital checklists are easy to distribute to designed personnel, simple to fill out and submit, and can be set up with automated approval management and record-keeping settings. Fluix enables these materials to be completed even when internet connections are unavailable and submitted as soon as connectivity is restored. Compliance materials that are digitized are more likely to be legible, completed on time, and followed up on than paper checklists.

How Does a Ladder Safety Checklist Compare To a Ladder Inspection Checklist?

A checklist for ladder safety can account for the condition of a ladder and the arrangement of a worksite. An inspection checklist tends to cover specific features of a particular ladder type. Safety checklists may also account for related measures such as the availability and functionality of fall arrest or protection systems and other personal protective equipment for working at height.

Ladder inspection checklists are essential for fixed ladders, portable ladders, and step ladders but are not limited to those. The job-made ladders for specific applications and supportive equipment, such as mobile ladder stands and platforms, should also undergo inspection before each shift. An inspection checklist can cover one or more types of equipment.

How To Implement a Checklist for OSHA Ladder Inspection and Ladder Inspection Form in Fluix?

After you sign up for Fluix, you’ll find the OSHA Ladder Inspection checklist in the Fluix form library. You can quickly build a process of filling in ladder safety checklists and sending them for approval using the taskstreams automation right inside the platform.

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