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What to Consider When Choosing a Ladder for Your Jobsite

Falls account for the largest number of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry and frequently involve breach of ladder regulations. In order to prevent fall-related injuries and fatalities and potential OSHA citations, it is important to provide ladders that are appropriate for the task and capable of withstanding the weight of the worker. Below, a roofing lawyer in Illinois who is highly knowledgeable of OSHA ladder regulations will go over the variety of factors involved in choosing the appropriate ladder for your jobsite.

Ladder Type

Using the wrong type of ladder on your jobsite is not only inefficient but dangerous. One of the leading causes of ladder accidents is using the wrong ladder. To avoid potential fall-related injuries or fatalities, it is important to choose the right type of ladder for your project. OSHA divides ladders into two main categories, portable and fixed, under which a plethora of different types of ladders can be found from extension ladders and platform ladders to basic step ladders and multi-position ladders. OSHA ladder requirements differ based on what type of ladder you will be using, so it’s important to keep track of the standards associated with each type.

Related: 4 Mistakes Roofers Make on Ladders 

Ladder Height

Ladder height is an important factor in the consideration process because it involves further OSHA ladder regulations regarding fall protection. While fall protection is not required for workers climbing or working on portable ladders, it must be provided for workers climbing or working on fixed ladders that equal or exceed 24 feet. When choosing an extension ladder, you must make sure that the ladder is seven to 10 feet longer than the highest contact point with the highest standing level at four rungs down from the top of the ladder. The highest standing level on a stepladder must be two steps from the top of the ladder. All of these regulations are important as they help to prevent workers from losing their balance and falling off of the ladder. 

Related: Portable Ladders and Fall Protection

Ladder Material

Ladder material is a factor often overlooked; however, each type of material has characteristics that make it better suited for certain tasks or user preferences. Aluminum ladders are easier to maneuver given the material’s lighter weight, but they also conduct electricity and should not be used near electrical lines. Fiberglass ladders are durable and don’t conduct electricity when clean and dry. Prior to choosing a ladder, consider which material is best suited to the needs and preference of your jobsite. 

Ladder Duty Rating

The last aspect to consider when choosing the right ladder for your jobsite is duty rating or load capacity. The duty rating is the maximum weight capacity a ladder can safely handle, including the weight of the worker and the weight of any tools needed for the job. Most ladders fall under the following five ladder ratings:

  • Type IAA: load capacity of 375 pounds
  • Type IA: load capacity of 300 pounds
  • Type I: load capacity of 250 pounds
  • Type II: load capacity of 225 pounds
  • Type III: load capacity of 200 pounds

If your jobsite has received an OSHA citation for ladder regulations or you have concerns regarding ladder requirements on your jobsite, a roofing lawyer in Illinois is prepared to assist you.

If you would like to speak with an experienced attorney about OSHA ladder regulations, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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