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What are some of OSHA's rules for ladder use at work?

Does your job require you to use a ladder in the normal course of your daily duties? If so, you are not alone. For many people in Pennsylvania the use of a ladder is integral to the nature of their work. If you are in this category, you will want to know that the Occupational Safety Health Administration outlines clear guidelines for the safe use of these pieces of equipment. Even for those workers who only need to use a ladder now and then, such knowledge can be helpful.

Accidents involving ladders can result from the use of defective or damaged ladders or from the improper use of a ladder in good working order. OSHA's regulations provide guidance to help prevent both types of incidents. For example, workers should always inspect ladders before using them and any damaged item should not be used until it is fixed.

When using a ladder, care should be taken to do so safely by always keeping two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder. Unless a particular ladder's top rung is designed to be used a step, this should not be done. Every ladder is designed to hold up to a certain amount of weight and this should never be exceeded. If locks are part of a ladder they should always be engaged before stepping on the ladder. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Pennsylvania residents an overview of some of the specific safety guidelines outlined by OSHA for people using ladders in work-related situations.

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