Portable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety

Table of ContentsI.Purpose . 2II.Scope . 2III. Responsibilities . 2IV. Requirements . 3V.Training . 4VI. Regulatory Authority and Related Information . 4VII. Contact . 4Appendix 1 – Portable Ladder Inspection Guidelines . 5Appendix 2 – Portable Ladder Safe Work Practices. 6Portable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety January 20211

I.PurposeThis program is intended to provide guidance on the inspection, safe usage, and care of portableladders to protect individuals from the hazards associated with their use.II.ScopeIII.ResponsibilitiesA. This program applies to staff, students, and contractors who perform tasks utilizingportable ladders.B. For the purpose of this program, portable ladders include mobile ladder stands andplatforms.C. This program does not apply to fixed ladders, which are covered in Northwestern’s FallProtection program.A. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)i.Review, audit, and revise this program annually or anytime deemed necessary.ii.Provide online training to applicable Northwestern departments.iii.Provide additional training as needed to aid in program compliance.iv.Provide guidance and technical assistance as needed.B. Departments and Unitsi.Designate individual(s) to ensure compliance with this program.ii.Ensure the care, selection, usage, and storage of portable ladders in accordancewith this program and manufacturer’s guidelines.iii.Immediately remove damaged or defective portable ladders from service.iv.Monitor employees’ and students’ need for additional or refresher training,based upon assigned duties, observed work practices, changes to the worksites,or changes to this program.v.Coordinate with EHS to ensure all employees and students receive portableladder safety EHS for guidance and technical assistance as needed.vii.Report all incidents (e.g., injuries, property damage, near misses) to EHS.C. Portable Ladder Usersi.Adhere to the requirements of this program.ii.Successfully complete all required training as outlined in Section V.iii.Properly select, inspect, use, handle, and store ladders in accordance with thisprogram and manufacturer’s guidelines. Refer to the Portable Ladder InspectionGuidelines (see Appendix 1) and Safe Work Practices (see Appendix 2).iv.Immediately report damaged or defective portable ladders to supervisors.v.Report all incidents (e.g., injuries, property damage, near misses), hazards, andunsafe working conditions to appropriate personal protective equipment correctly.D. Contractorsi.Adhere to the requirements of this program.ii.Responsible for supplying and using their own portable ladders.iii.Prohibited from using Northwestern portable ladders.iv.Ensure employees are trained, applicable to the work being performed andportable ladder type(s) used.Portable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety January 20212

IV.RequirementsA. GeneralDepartments, units, users, and contractors are encouraged to identify and utilizealternative solutions instead of using portable ladders, when possible (e.g., light bulbchanging pole).B. ApprovalAll portable ladders used on Northwestern property must be of an approved type by theAmerican National Standards Institute (ANSI).C. Labelingi.Portable ladders must have all labels in place and labels must be legible.ii.Labels must indicate the size, type or duty rating, maximum working length,highest standing level, number and total length of sections (if applicable), modelnumber or name, manufacturer’s name and location, date of manufacturer, andAmerican National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard compliance.iii.Usage guidelines and other warning statements (e.g., warning, caution) fromthe manufacturer must also be in place on the portable ladders in specificlocations depending on ladder type.D. Inspectioni.All portable ladders must be inspected when originally purchased, received, andput into service, and by the user prior to use. Refer to the Portable LadderInspection Guidelines (see Appendix 1) and the manufacturer’s specificationsfor guidance on inspecting and maintaining portable ladders.ii.Portable ladders found to be defective or damaged must be tagged “Dangerous:Do Not Use This Ladder” and immediately removed from service until repairedor replaced.E. Electrical Hazardsi.Take proper safety measures to avoid portable ladder or tool contact withelectrical circuits, wiring, or power lines.ii.Take all necessary measures to prevent any contact or possible contact with anenergized, uninsulated circuit or conductor in order to avoid electrical shock orshort circuit.iii.The use of metal portable ladders (e.g., aluminum) or portable ladders withmetal components (e.g., wood ladders with side-rail metal reinforcement wires)around electrical sources of energy, or while performing electrical work, isprohibited.iv.Metal portable ladders must have a label indicating to not use near electricalequipment or energy sources.F. Maintenancei.Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for maintenance.ii.Field repairs and modifications to portable ladders are prohibited.iii.Do not attempt to straighten a bent or bowed portable ladder.iv.Do not paint portable wood ladders as the paint could hide defects.G. StoragePortable ladders must be stored in areas free of hazards, away from heat, fire, moisture,direct sunlight, and chemicals, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.Portable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety January 20213

V.TrainingVI.Regulatory Authority and Related InformationA. GeneralDepartments and units are responsible for ensuring faculty, staff, and students areproperly trained and proficient in the selection, inspection, use, handling, storage, andhazards associated with using portable ladders.B. RequirementsPortable ladder training is required:i.Before a faculty or staff member or student is initially assigned a task involvingthe use of a portable ladder.ii.Whenever there is a change in assigned duties, worksite conditions, or hazardsto which the faculty or staff member or student has not been previously trained.iii.If there are observed inadequacies in a faculty or staff member’s or student’sknowledge or execution of safe portable ladder use.C. Online Trainingi.Portable ladder training is available online through myHR Learn.ii.Departments and units are responsible for providing EHS current staff andfaculty lists to ensure they are registered for training.iii.Departments and units with students who use portable ladders (e.g., theaters)are responsible for ensuring students complete the online training prior toladder use.D. Refresher TrainingPortable ladder refresher online training is required annually.E. Specialty Portable LaddersDepartments and units with faculty, staff, and/or students whose work activities involvethe use of specialty ladders, such as platform ladders, combination ladders, orarticulating ladders, must provide additional instruction on inspection and safe usage bya competent person prior to use. Contact EHS for guidance and assistance with specialtyportable ladders.F. RecordkeepingTraining records are maintained in Northwestern myHR Learn.Northwestern and contractors will comply with the Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration (OSHA) and ANSI standards, and any other applicable codes and standards,including:OSHA 29 CFR 1910.23 – LaddersNorthwestern’s Fall Protection ProgramNational Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Ladder Safety AppANSI ASC A14 – Ladder StandardsVII. ContactFor questions, contact Chris Yohe, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety SpecialistLead, at [email protected] or (847) 467-6342.Portable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety January 20214

Appendix 1 – Portable Ladder Inspection GuidelinesPortable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety January 20215

Appendix 2 – Portable Ladder Safe Work PracticesLearn more: Complete Ladder Safety training and review the March 2019 and September 2017 Spotlights on Safety.Portable Ladder SafetyEnvironmental Health and Safety January 20216

iii. The use of metal portable ladders (e.g., aluminum) or portable ladders with metal components (e.g., wood ladders with side-rail metal reinforcement wires) around electrical sources of energ y, or while performing electrical work, is prohibited. iv. Metal portable ladders