OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
Bookmark this page

Part 8 Entrances, Walkways, Stairways and Ladders

Section 133 Prohibition

Unless permitted by the manufacturer’s specifications, a worker must never work from the top two rungs, steps, or cleats of a portable ladder. Unless designed to permit such use, portable ladders can become unstable or workers can lose their balance for lack of siderails to hold while working from the top two rungs, steps, or cleats.

CSA Standard CAN3-Z11-M81 (R2005), Portable Ladders, recognizes step stools of a particular type as being a portable ladder. With that particular type of step stool, workers are permitted to stand on any rung, including the top plate.

The following safety precautions should be followed when using a stepladder:

  • Never work from the top two treads of a stepladder unless permitted to do so by the manufacturer’s specifications (see Figure 8.3).

Figure 8.3 Safely working from a stepladder

  • Always face the stepladder treads when using a stepladder.
  • Never use a stepladder for entry to or exit from another work area.
  • Never lean to one side or overreach while using a stepladder.
  • Unless permitted by the stepladder manufacturer, never use a stepladder as a support for a working platform as the ladder is too unstable.
  • Always visually inspect the ladder before each use.
  • Always place a stepladder on a firm, flat surface.
  • Do not place a stepladder on boxes or scaffolds to gain extra height.
  • Always take care when positioning a stepladder in corridors or driveways where it could be hit by a person or vehicle. Set up suitable barriers where necessary.
  • Set base on secure, even surface. Shim the base if necessary (see Figure 8.4)

Figure 8.4 Example of shimming the ladder base on uneven ground

For more information

Portable Ladders
(Oregon OSHA)