The days of using a chain to protect falls at a ladder opening are over. It has been several years since this was acceptable, and OSHA continues to emphasize the alternate solutions. Simply put, if access to a ladder is open and a worker can walk directly off the roof or elevated area without opening a gate, the ladder is not OSHA compliant.
The OSHA regulation that applies to protecting ladders is 1910.28(b)(3)(iv):
Each employee is protected from falling into a ladderway floor hole or ladderway platform hole by a guardrail system and toeboards erected on all exposed sides, except at the entrance to the hole, where a self-closing gate or an offset must be used.
The only exception is if an offset is used. In layman’s terms, an offset is a platform where a worker must turn 90 degrees before having the ability to leave the elevated area via the ladder.
Fortunately, Garlock Safety Systems has you covered. The LadderGuard™ system is OSHA compliant and easy to install. Used in tandem with a Garlock Self-Closing Gate, the system prevents workers from falling.
LadderGuard creates OSHA compliant rooftop ladder access starting 6 ft. from the leading edge. LadderGuard easily attaches to both flat, round, or square rails and works on parapet or flat roofs or surfaces. The reliability of our Self-Closing Gate’s spring-loaded hinges assures the gate is never left open.
As always, your best bet is to contact your Garlock Safety Solutions representative if you have any questions and we will make sure to help you find the right solution for your business.