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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

Securing a ladder

Topic: Securing a ladder Issued by: VP, WorkSafe Services
Statute: General Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: October 8, 1997
Paragraph: 125(2)(a) Date Revised: January 26, 2011

125(2) An employee who uses a portable ladder shall ensure that

(a) the ladder is secured against movement.

Question
Is it necessary to require a second employee to be present to hold the ladder at the bottom until the top is secured?

Response
Under normal circumstances, an employee would be permitted to climb a ladder for the purpose of securing it at the top, without a second person holding the ladder provided that the ladder is first secured at the bottom before climbing. In addition, the ladder should be set up as follows:

  1. is set up at an angle of 1 to 4 ratio,
  2. is on level ground, and
  3. has proper feet attached (rubber or spurs) for the surface upon which it is standing.

There may be some circumstances that would require a second person to hold the ladder. These would include conditions that would permit a ladder to move sideways such as:

  1. unlevel ground
  2. an excessively long extension ladder (in excess of 40 to 50 feet) and
  3. installation of a ladder in areas where it is not possible to secure it at the top.

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