Scope and applicability. This section applies to all portable ladders, including job-made ladders for
temporary use, unless otherwise specified.
Standards for existing manufactured portable ladders.
Rungs of manufactured portable ladders obtained before October 3, 1983, shall be capable of
supporting a 200-pound (890 N) load without deformation.
Rungs shall be evenly spaced from 9 to 16 1/2 inches (22.9 to 41.9 cm), center to center.
Rungs shall be continuous members between rails. Each rung of a double-rung ladder (two side rails
and a center rail) shall extend the full width of the ladder.
Width between side rails at the base of the ladder shall be at
least 12 inches (30.48 cm) for ladders 10 feet (3.05 m) or less in
overall length, and shall increase at least 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) for
each additional 2 feet (0.61 m) of ladder length.
Standards for manufactured portable ladders. Portable manufactured ladders obtained after January 21,
1998 shall bear identification indicating that they meet the appropriate ladder construction requirements of the following standards:
ANSI A14.1-1990 Safety Requirements for Portable Wood Ladders
ANSI A14.2-1990 Safety Requirements for Portable Metal Ladders
ANSI A14.5-1992 Safety Requirements for Portable Reinforced Plastic Ladders
Standards for job-made portable ladders. Job-made ladders shall:
Have a minimum and uniform distance between rungs of 12 inches
(30.48 cm), center to center;
Are capable of supporting a 250-pound (1,112 N) load without
Have a minimum width between side rails of 12 inches (30.48 cm)
for ladders 10 feet (3.05 m) in height. Width between rails shall
increase at least 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) for each additional 2 feet (0.61
m) of ladder length.
Maintenance and inspection.
The employer shall maintain portable ladders in safe condition. Ladders with the following defects
shall not be used and either shall be tagged as unusable if kept on the premises or shall be removed from the worksite:
Broken, split or missing rungs, cleats or steps;
Broken or split side rails;
Missing or loose bolts, rivets or fastenings;
Defective ropes; or
Any other structural defect.
Ladders shall be inspected for defects prior to each day's use, and after any occurrence, such as a
fall, which could damage the ladder.
Ladders made by fastening rungs or devices across a single rail are prohibited.
Ladders shall not be used:
As guys, braces or skids; or
As platforms, runways or scaffolds.
Metal and wire-reinforced ladders with wooden side rails shall not be used when employees on the
ladder might come into contact with energized electrical conductors.
Individual sections from different multi-sectional ladders or two or more single straight ladders
shall not be tied or fastened together to achieve additional length.
Except for combination ladders, self-supporting ladders shall not be used as single straight
Unless intended for cantilever operation, non-self-supporting ladders shall not be used to climb
above the top support point.
Ladders shall extend at least 36 inches (0.91 m) above the upper support level if employees are to
leave or mount the ladder at that level, except that where such extension is impractical other equivalent means such as grab bars may be used to
provide a hand grip.
Ladders shall be securely positioned on a level and firm base.
Ladders shall be fitted with slip-resistant bases and secured at top or bottom to prevent the ladder
The employer shall direct that ladders shall be placed so that employees climbing are not exposed
to injury from projecting objects or doors that open toward the ladder.
[62 FR 40141, July 25, 1997; 65 FR 40941, June 30, 2000]