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  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management
  • (formerly Directorate of Science, Technology and Medicine)

OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins
Use of Floor Locks on Ladders


February 15, 1991

MEMORANDUM FOR:

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THROUGH:

  • LEO CAREY
  • Director
  • Office of Field Programs

FROM:

  • THOMAS J. SHEPICH
  • Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support

SUBJECT:

  • Hazard Information Bulletin1 - Use of Floor Locks on Ladders

The Seattle Regional Office has brought to our attention a potentially serious hazard existing with the use of floor locks on rolling ladders.

A fatality resulted when a pair of floor truck lock mechanisms, shop-installed to prevent a step ladder on wheels from moving while in use, failed to properly immobilize the ladder. The pedal-actuated locks were mounted inboard under the ladder's first step, which actually introduced an additional side tipping instability.

The locks involved in the fatality are manufactured by the Tilden Corporation and are similar to locks manufactured by other caster and wheel suppliers, including the Colson Caster Corp. and the Hamilton Caster and Manufacturing Co. These devices are intended for use on platform trucks and carts but are not intended for use on rolling ladders or any personnel carrying devices. However, there is no prohibition against the use of floor truck locks on rolling ladders if stability is considered in the overall design of the ladder, wheel and lock system.

References

1 The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard Information Bulletins (HIBs) in accordance with OSHA Instruction CPL 2.65 to provide relevant information regarding unrecognized or misunderstood health hazards, inadequacies of materials, devices, techniques, and safety engineering controls. HIBs are initiated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, reports and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers, and the public. Information is complied based on a thorough evaluation of available facts, literature and in coordination with appropriate parties. HIBs do not necessarily reflect OSHA policy.

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