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Stairways and Ladders

29 CFR 1926.1050

OSHA Office of Training & Education

General Requirements

OSHA Office of Training & Education

Stairway or Ladder
There must be a stairway or ladder at points of access
where there is an elevation break of 19 inches or more.
At least one point of access must be kept clear.
Break in elevation

19 inches

OSHA Office of Training & Education

Stairways
Stairways with four or
more risers, or higher
than 30 inches, must be
equipped with at least
one handrail.

OSHA Office of Training & Education

Handrail and
Top Rail Strength
Rails must be able
to withstand a
force of 200
pounds

OSHA Office of Training & Education

Handrails
Stairways with four or
more risers, or higher
than 30 inches, must
be equipped with at
least one handrail.

The stairway to this platform has more than 4 risers


and is not guarded. The platform requires guarding.
OSHA Office of Training & Education

Stairs
Install between 30
and 50 degrees.
Must have uniform
riser height and
tread depth, with
less than a 1/4-inch
variation.

No more than 1/4 inch


variation in any stairway system

OSHA Office of Training & Education

OSHA Office of Training & Education

Stairway Landings
Stairways landings must
be at least 30 inches deep
and 22 inches wide at
every 12 feet or less of
vertical rise

Landing

Unprotected sides of
landings must have
standard 42 inch guardrail
systems
OSHA Office of Training & Education

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Platforms and Swing Doors


Where doors or gates
open directly on a
stairway, provide a
platform that extends at
least 20 inches beyond the
swing of the door.

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Portable Ladders
Maximum height of single
portable ladder will not be
more than 30 feet (9 m)
Maximum height of
extension ladder will not be
more than 60 feet (18 m)
Portable ladder to be used
by one person only at a time.
The distance between rungs
should be uniform and
between 10 to 14 inch
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General Requirements
Rungs, cleats and steps of portable and
fixed ladders must not be spaced less than
10 inches (25 cm) apart, nor more than 14
inches (36 cm) apart, along the ladders
side rails.
Wood ladders must not be coated with any
opaque covering, except for identification or
warning labels which may be placed on one
face of a side rail.
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Ladder Angle
Non-self-supporting ladders:
(which lean against a wall or
other support)
Position at an angle
where the horizontal
distance from the top
support to the foot of the
ladder is 1/4 the working
length of the ladder

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Ladders placed in areas


such as passage-ways,
doorways, or driveways,
or where they can be
displaced by workplace
activities or traffic must
be secured to prevent
accidental movement, or a
barricade must be used to
keep traffic or activity
away from the ladder.

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Extension Ladders
Top part on bottom
part
Extension Lock
Overlap Distance
Up to 36 Ft (3 Ft)
From 36 48 (4 Ft)
From 48 60 (5 Ft)

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Tall Fixed Ladder Requirements


Equip a fixed ladder 24 feet or
longer with either a:
Ladder safety device
Self-retracting lifelines with
rest platforms every 150 feet or
less
Cage or well, and multiple
ladder sections, each section
not exceeding 50 feet

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