Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

Process: Surface Preparation and Preservation


Falls: Problems and Solutions


Photo of examples of inappropriate ladder use

Workers frequently use ladders to access areas for preparatory work and the removal or application of coatings. However, falls and other injuries are more likely to occur when a ladder or other means of access is used incorrectly in an effort to save time.

Photo of examples of inappropriate ladder use

Examples of inappropriate ladder use:

  • Using a stepladder as an extension ladder by leaning it against a bulkhead for support.
  • Using the top steps of a supported ladder.






Stepladder safety is basic ... make sure to:
Illustration of stepladder safety - Respect Climbing Limit - Brace Locked - Fully Open

  • Fully open the ladder on a secure, level surface.
  • Lock spreaders (bracing) in place. Do not climb higher than the designated limit.
  • Do not straddle the top of the ladder.





Illustration of worker without a logical sequence - Working in all directions - 1 Bottom left - 2 Top right - 3 Top left - 4 Bottom left

Without a logical sequence and clear plan for working through a compartment, blasters may trip and fall over their lines and hoses.


Illustration of worker with deliberate plan - Working in one direction at a time - 1 Far right - 2 Middle - 3 Left

A deliberate plan allows lines and hoses to be staged to minimize tripping hazards.

1st Pass - Lines and hoses staged at one end of the space

2nd Pass - Lines and hoses then staged at the opposite end of the space

Lines and hoses should initially be staged at one end of a space and pulled in the direction of the work.

Lines and hoses should then be staged at the opposite end for a second pass in the other direction.











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