How NOT to use a ladder.

I believe that there are several people who need to read a few snippets from the OSHA safety manual.

Loads

* Self-supporting (foldout) and non-self-supporting (leaning) portable ladders must be able to support at least four times the maximum intended load, except extra-heavy-duty metal or plastic ladders, which must be able to sustain 3.3 times the maximum intended load.

Angle

* Non-self-supporting ladders, which must lean against a wall or other support, are to be positioned at such an angle that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is about 1/4 the working length of the ladder.

* In the case of job-made wooden ladders, that angle should equal about 1/8 the working length. This minimizes the strain of the load on ladder joints that may not be as strong as on commercially manufactured ladders.

Rungs

* Ladder rungs, cleats, or steps must be parallel, level, and uniformly spaced when the ladder is in position for use. Rungs must be spaced between 10 and 14 inches apart.

* For extension trestle ladders, the spacing must be 8-18 inches for the base, and 6-12 inches on the extension section.

* Rungs must be so shaped that an employee’s foot cannot slide off, and must be skid-resistant.

Other Requirements

* Foldout or stepladders must have a metal spreader or locking device to hold the front and back sections in an open position when in use. (See Figure 4.)

* When two or more ladders are used to reach a work area, they must be offset with a landing or platform between the ladders.

* The area around the top and bottom of ladder must be kept clear.

* Ladders must not be tied or fastened together to provide longer sections, unless they are specifically designed for such use. (See Figure 5.)

* Never use a ladder for any purpose other than the one for which it was designed.

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