Ladders, Portable and Fixed

Chapter 296-876, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/06

Helpful Tools

WAC 296-876-700

Fixed ladders inspection and maintenance

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Your Responsibility

To make sure fixed ladders are inspected and maintained properly

Protection against corrosion and deterioration

Inspection and repair


WAC 296-876-70005

Protection against corrosion and deterioration

You must

  • Paint or otherwise treat metal ladders or metal parts to resist rust and corrosion if they are:
    • - Exposed to the elements
    • or
    • - Located where rust or corrosion could be expected.
  • Treat wood ladders used in conditions where decay may occur with a nonirritating preservative.
  • Make sure wood ladders aren't coated with an opaque covering except for the minimum amount necessary for identification and warning information which may be placed on one face only of a side rail.
  • Treat the interface between different materials or use other means to prevent:
    • - One material from damaging or having a harmful effect on another material


    • - Electrolytic action between dissimilar metals.

WAC 296-876-70010

Inspection and repair 

You must

  • Keep ladders in safe condition.
  • Have a competent person inspect a ladder for visual defects:

    - Periodically


    - After any occurrence that could affect safe use.

  • Make sure any ladder with structural damage or other hazardous defect is immediately removed from service.



  • Structural damage includes, but isn't limited to, any of the following:

    - Broken or missing rungs, cleats, or steps

    - Broken or split rails

    - Corroded components

    - Bolts and welds missing or not secure.

  • A ladder is considered to be removed from service if any of the following are done:

    - It is marked to identify it as defective

    - It is tagged with "do not use" or similar language

    - It is blocked so that it can't be used, for example, by using a plywood attachment that spans several rungs.

You must

  • Make sure repairs restore the ladder to a condition meeting its original design criteria.

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