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Mobile Ladder Stands and Mobile Ladder Platform Safety

October 25, 2012

A mobile ladder stand is a movable, fixed height, self-supporting ladder consisting of wide flat treads in the form of steps which give access to a top step.  The assembly may include handrails and is intended for use by one person.  A mobile ladder platform is a movable, fixed height, self-supporting unit having one or more standing levels and is provided with a means of access or egress to the platform or platforms.  The assembly may include handrails and/or guardrails, and may be designed to accommodate one or more persons.  There are many design options available for each type depending on the intended use.

For maximum workplace safety, always inspect fixed and portable ladders in your area of responsibility prior to use, daily if in continual use, and monthly during routine safety observations / inspections.  Facilitate repairs and execute preventative maintenance as required or noted.

Perform any manufacture recommended inspection procedures.  Ensure that all components are free from damage and unusual wear, deterioration, or corrosion.  If necessary tighten loose bolts, nuts, or connections; and secure with locking hardware.  Inspect all exposed surfaces that they are free from sharp edges and burrs and that treads and platforms are clear of debris.  Wheels or casters should lock when under load in a manner sufficient to prevent horizontal movement.  Non-locking wheels or casters should vertically retract when under load allowing the feet to make contact with the ground to prevent horizontal movement.  If any of these are not in effect, do not use the ladder, tag it out of service and schedule a repair prior to use.

Mobile ladder stand platforms may be used up to the top most level.  Ensure the maximum work level height is no more than four times the smallest dimension of the base.  Use on an obstacle free level surface and ensure all lockable wheels and casters are properly secured to prevent movement.  Do not store or hang materials or equipment on/from the steps or platform of a unit.  Place the ladder close to the work.  Do not lean out or over the ladder rails, a good rule is to keep the belt buckle area inside the rails. Do not exceed the ladder load rating; ANSI Type I (heavy duty – 250lbs), or greater is recommended.

Additionally, do not set-up in front of a door unless the door is secured in an open position, closed and locked, attended or barricaded.  Secure all lockable wheels and casters before ascending the ladder, do not move if occupied.  Do not add any type of extension or object to obtain additional height, it will compromise the intended use and load tolerance, ultimately inhibiting user safety.  Only step on stair treads or platforms, refrain from climbing on rails to extend reach.  Access to or egress from any step or platform from any other elevated surface is prohibited unless the unit has been positively secured against movement.

“6132T1 Ladders;.” Jefferson Lab. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2012. <http://www.jlab.org/ehs/ehsmanual/6132T1.htm>.

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