How many people would you estimate, out of the 7 billion people on this planet, have ever used a stairway or ladder? This common tool is used throughout the world every day by people in their homes and by workers on construction sites. Subpart X in the Construction Standards covers the requirements for Stairways and Ladders on the jobsite and includes handrails, stair rails, landings, headroom, winding and spiral stairways, portable ladders, job-made ladders, fixed ladders and their cages, wells and safety devices, and a multitude of other requirements. Why are there so many OSHA standards covering something that is used by so many people every single day?
In the construction workplace, this common tool causes over 24,000 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities every year.
Training requirements under the standard include: the nature of the fall hazards in the work area; the correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems to be used; the proper construction, use, placement, and care in handling of all stairways and ladders; and the maximum intended load-carrying capacities of ladders used.
Additionally, each employee must be trained by a Competent Person and retraining as necessary has to be provided.
Maintain three points of contact when climbing or descending a ladder. Use handrails on stairways. Use fall protection when needed.
Use the right equipment, use it safely, and step up to safety.