Stairway and Ladder Safety Plan


This written Stairway and Ladder Safety Plan describes methods and practices for care and use of stairways and ladders that can be read and understood by all managers, supervisors, and employees at Principia This written plan is intended to be used to:

  • create an awareness of the hazards among our workforce,
  • standardize procedures for use and care of the equipment,
  • provide a consistent format for training employees on the proper procedures to be used,
  • minimize the possibility of injury or harm to our employees, and
  • demonstrate Principia 's compliance with stairway and ladder requirements in Subpart D of 29 CFR 1910.

The procedures establish guidelines to be followed whenever an employee works with ladders or stairways at our company.

Administrative Duties

The Human Resources Manager, or designee, is responsible for developing and maintaining this written Stairway and Ladder Safety Plan. This person is solely responsible for all facets of the plan and has full authority to make necessary decisions to ensure the success of this plan. The Human Resources Manager, or designee, is also qualified, by appropriate training and experience that is commensurate with the complexity of the plan, to administer or oversee our stairway and ladder safety program and conduct the required evaluations.

This written Stairway and Ladder Safety Plan is kept in our written Safety and Health manual and at our corporate offices.

If, after reading this plan, you find that improvements can be made, please contact the Human Resources Manager, or designee,. We encourage all suggestions because we are committed to creating a safe workplace for all our employees, and a safe and effective stairway and ladder safety program is an important component of our overall safety plan. We strive for clear understanding, safe work practices, and involvement in the program from every level of the company.

Fixed Industrial Stairs

Fixed industrial stairs are provided in our facility or on job sites in the following circumstances:

  • for access from one structure level to another where operations necessitate regular travel between levels,
  • for access to operating platforms at any equipment which requires attention routinely during operations, and
  • where access to elevations is daily or at each shift for such purposes as gauging, inspection, regular maintenance, etc., where such work may expose employees to acids, caustics, gases, or other harmful substances, or for which purposes the carrying of tools or equipment by hand is normally required.

All fixed industrial stairs are provided according to OSHA specifications for stair strength, stair width, angle of stairway rise, stair treads, stairway platforms, railings and handrails, and vertical clearance.

Portable Ladders

All portable ladders provided by Principia for use by employees are constructed according to OSHA specifications in order to insure safety under normal conditions of usage.

For portable wood ladders, all wood parts should be visually inspected before use and be:

  • free from sharp edges and splinters; and
  • sound and free from shake, wane, compression failures, decay, or other irregularities.

Portable metal ladders chosen for use by Principia are:

  • designed without structural defects or accident hazards such as sharp edges, burrs, etc;
  • of sufficient strength to meet the test requirements; and
  • protected against corrosion unless inherently corrosion-resistant.

Work Practices

When ascending or descending, the climber must face the ladder.

Portable ladders are designed as a one-man working ladder based on a 200-pound load and will be used accordingly.

Portable rung and cleat ladders will be used at such a pitch that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is one-quarter of the working length of the ladder (the length along the ladder between the foot and the top support).

The ladder will be so placed as to prevent slipping, or it will be lashed, or held in position. The ladder base section must be placed with a secure footing.

Employees will equip all portable rung ladders with non-slip bases when there is a hazard of slipping. However, non-slip bases are not intended as a substitute for care in safely placing, lashing, or holding a ladder that is being used on oily, metal, concrete, or slippery surfaces. These non-slip bases can be obtained from .

The top of the ladder must be placed with the two rails supported, unless equipped with a single support attachment.

On two-section extension ladders, the minimum overlap for the two sections in use will be according to OSHA specifications.

Portable rung ladders with reinforced rails will be used only with the metal reinforcement on the under side.

The bracing on the back legs of step ladders is designed solely for increasing stability and not for climbing.

Ladders will not be:

  • used in a horizontal position as platforms, runways, or scaffolds.
  • placed in front of doors opening toward the ladder unless the door is blocked open, locked, or guarded.
  • placed on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • tied or fastened together to provide longer sections. They must be equipped with the hardware fittings necessary if the manufacturer endorses extended uses.
  • used to gain access to a roof unless the top of the ladder extends at least 3 feet above the point of support, at eave, gutter, or roofline.
  • used as a brace, skid, guy or gin pole, gangway, or for other uses than that for which they were intended, unless specifically recommended for use by the manufacturer.

Ladders for which dimensions are specified should not be used by more than one man at a time nor with ladder jacks and scaffold planks where use by more than one man is anticipated.

Ladders with broken or missing steps, rungs, or cleats, broken side rails, or other faulty equipment must not be used. Employees finding ladders with any of these conditions must report them to Human Resources Manager, or designee,. Improvised repairs may not be made.

Ladders made by fastening cleats across a single rail will not be used.

Tops of the ordinary types of stepladders will not be used as steps.

Middle and top sections of sectional or window cleaner's ladders will not be used for bottom section unless the user equips them with safety shoes.

Inspections and Maintenance

Ladders will be inspected regularly and frequently to insure safety and serviceability.

Ladders will be maintained in good usable condition at all times.

The joint between the steps and side rails is kept tight, all hardware and fittings are securely attached, and the movable parts operate freely without binding or undue play.

Metal bearings of locks, wheels, pulleys, etc., will be frequently lubricated.

Frayed or badly worn rope will be replaced.

Safety feet and other auxiliary equipment will be kept in good condition to insure proper performance.

Ladders which have developed defects will be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged or marked as Dangerous, Do Not Use.

If ladders tip over, our employee will:

  • inspect the ladder for side rails, dents, bends, or excessively dented rungs;
  • check all rung-to-side-rail connections;
  • check hardware connections; and
  • check rivets for shear.

If ladders are exposed to oil and grease, equipment will be cleaned and kept free of oil, grease, or slippery materials.

Fixed Ladders

Fixed ladders are provided according to OSHA specifications for design, clearance, and pitch. All fixed ladders are maintained in a safe condition. Fixed ladders are inspected regularly and frequently to insure safety and serviceability.


The Human Resources Manager, or designee, is responsible for maintaining records of ladder inspections which resulted in unacceptable conditions. These records are kept at our corporate office.

Training For all employees who work on ladders and stairways, training is provided to enable each employee to recognize hazards associated with ladders and stairways and to use proper procedures to minimize the hazards.

Disciplinary Procedures

Constant awareness of and respect for stairway and ladder safety procedures and compliance with all safety rules are considered conditions of employment. Supervisors and individuals in the Safety and Personnel Department reserve the right to issue disciplinary warnings to employees, up to and including termination, for failure to follow the guidelines of this stairway and ladder safety program.

Program Evaluation

Although we may not be able to eliminate all problems, we try to eliminate as many as possible to improve employee protection and encourage employee safe practices. Therefore, the Human Resources Manager, or designee, is responsible for evaluating and updating this written plan as necessary. The evaluation will include a review of reported accidents, as well as near misses, to identify areas where additional safety measures need to be taken. A periodic review to determine the effectiveness of the program will also take place. This may include:

  • a walk-through of the facility, and
  • interviews with employees to determine whether they are familiar with the requirements of this program and if safety measures are being practiced.