An employee may need to use a portable ladder for many situations at work regardless of their business industry or the nature of their job. From changing light bulbs to reaching for items stored on a high shelf and more, these ladders come in handy for many companies. 

Even when doing routine tasks, people should know that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration outlines rules for how a portable ladder should or should not be used. These rules aim to prevent accidents and improve safety in the workplace. 

Guidelines for ladder placement

As explained by OSHA, a portable ladder must be properly positioned on level ground at all times. Under no circumstances should the ladder be set on top of other movable object, even if in an attempt to extend the ladder’s height reach. The ladder should only be moved once a person has dismounted and no other equipment or tools are on the ladder, as those may fall when moving. 

Guidelines for points of contact

At all times while on a ladder, a person must maintain at least three points of contact with the ladder. These points of contact may be two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands. 

Guidelines for weight limits

Every portable ladder has its own maximum weight load. Prior to using a ladder, a person should be aware of this limit so as to ensure they do not exceed it. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in Virginia an overview of some of the regulations outlined to ensure the safe use of portable ladders at a workplace.