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OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins1
Certain Keller/Columbia Types I and IA Industrial Fiberglass Extension Ladders


September 27, 1996

MEMORANDUM FOR:

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

FROM:

  • GREGORY J. BAXTER
  • Acting Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support

SUBJECT:

  • Hazard Information Bulletin1: Certain Keller/Columbia Types I and IA Industrial Fiberglass Extension Ladders

Pursuant to a fatality investigation, the Boston Regional Office has brought to our attention a potential hazard of collapse of certain fiberglass extension ladders. The ladder in question is a Keller Model #5128, 28 ft fiberglass extension ladder with a type IA, 300 pound rating. It is one of 11 models sold under the trade names of Keller or Columbia, all of which may incorporate this particular characteristic. The manufacturer, Keller Industries, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has recalled all of these ladders with the CPSC Press Release #96-095 issued on April 10, 1996. Since these are industrial extension ladders, it is important to make employers aware of this potentially hazardous condition.

On the ladder involved in the accident, a brace is utilized on each siderail and attached to the second rung at the top and bottom of the base section for additional support. The brace on the ladder can interfere with the operation of the rung locks on only one rung, the rung below the point of full extension (second rung from the top). The braces on other models may be installed on different rungs of the base section. Thus, under certain circumstances, when setting up the ladder, the rung locks may appear to be properly engaged when in fact, they are not. The ladder may collapse when sufficient weight is placed on it possibly causing the user to fall.

Employers must comply with the manufacturer's recall instructions and stop using the ladders immediately. Keller is offering a replacement ladder, refund of the purchase price or rung lock replacement. Keller is recalling 29,691 of these Types I and IA (heavy duty) industrial ladders.

The following ladders are the subject of this recall:

Trade Name Model No. Length Color Type Dates Manufactured Number Sold
Keller 5016 16ft. Yellow I 3/1/93-12/31/94 635
Keller 5028 28ft. Yellow I 3/1/93-12/31/95 1,533
Keller 5128 28ft. Orange IA 7/1/90-12/31/95 19,283
Keller 5132 32ft. Orange IA 7/1/90-5/31/94 5,353
Keller 5136 36ft. Orange IA 3/1/91-12/31/95 221
Keller 5140 40ft. Orange IA 3/1/91-12/31/95 367
Columbia FE4128 28ft. Yellow I 3/1/93-12/31/95 40
Columbia EF1028 28ft. Orange IA 7/1/90-12/31/95 1,103
Columbia EF1032 32ft. Orange IA 7/1/90-5/31/94 677
Columbia EF1036 36ft. Orange IA 3/1/91-12/31/95 151
Columbia EF1040 40ft. Orange IA 3/1/91-12/31/95 328

Please distribute this bulletin to all Area Offices, State Plan States, Consultaion Project Offices, and appropriate labor and industry groups.


1 The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard Information Bulletins (HIB) in accordance with OSHA Instruciton CPL 2.65 to provide relevant information regarding unrecognized or misunderstood heatlh hazards, inadequacies of materials, devices, techniques, and safety engineering controls. HIBs are intitated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, reports and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers, and the public. Bulletins are developed based on a through evaluation of available facts and in coordination with appropriate parties.

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