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1926 Subpart X

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH                         1926 Subpart X

Overview for Subpart X
Stairways and Ladders

X-1 What are the most frequently cited serious stairway and ladder violations?
  1. Not providing a handrail or stair rail system on stairs of four or more steps [1926.1052(c)(1)].

  2. Not securing a portable ladder or having it extended 3 feet (.9 m) above the upper landing before workers use it to reach an upper level [1926.1053(b)(1)].

  3. Not providing a safe means to gain access to a vertical rise in elevation of 19 inches (48 cm) or more [1926.1051(a)].

  4. Not providing a training program for workers on the proper construction, inspection, maintenance, care, use, and limitations of stairways and ladders [1926.1060(a)].

  5. Not marking or tagging a defective ladder so that it would not be used before it has been repaired [1926.1053(b)(16)].
X-2 What are some effective control measures that can be used to protect workers from the hazards presented in X-1 above?
  1. All stairways of 4 steps or more need to have a handrail (see illustration X-1). In addition, if there is a fall hazard of 6 feet (1.8 m) or more on an exposed side of the stairs then a stair rail system must be provided to prevent workers from falling off the side (see illustration X-2). Also, stairway landings 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above the surrounding area need to be provided with a guardrail system along the exposed perimeters of the landing.

  2. When using a portable ladder, the top end must extend above the upper landing level by 3 feet (.9 m) or otherwise be tied off at the top to some secure point so that the ladder will not lose its position while a worker is using it. Portable ladders with structural defects are not to be used and are to be tagged or marked to indicate they are not to be used. Employees need to know what to look for to assure the ladder is safe to use before they put it in use.

  3. Training for workers who use ladders and stairways is to help them avoid overloading; to know the fall protection features that need to be present when using ladders, and the correct procedures for erecting and disassembling stairways or ladders.
Illustrations X-1 (Top) & X-2 (Bottom)

Handrail Illustrations
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