​​Every ladder provided by an employer for use at a workplace must be designed, constructed and maintained to safely support any load that will be or is likely to be imposed on it.

An employer must ensure a worker inspects a ladder for defects prior to each use. A ladder found to be broken or defective may not be used until it has been repaired and restored to its original design specifications. 

An employer must ensure that no worker uses a metal ladder or metal reinforced rails on a ladder near any exposed energized electrical circuits or equipment. 

An employer may not apply anything to a wood ladder, except a transparent protective coating; and a small identifying mark or symbol, which may be non-transparent. 

Portable Ladders

An employer must ensure:

  • A commercially manufactured portable ladder complies with the applicable requirements of the standards referenced in Part 13 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation.
  • A self-fabricated portable wood ladder is constructed entirely from construction grade or better lumber and is built according to Part 13 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation.
  • An extension ladder:
    • Is equipped with locks that securely hold the sections of the ladder in the extended position.
    • Does not exceed 14.6 m in length, if it consists of two sections; or 20 m in length, if it consists of more than two sections.
    • If extended, the extended section overlaps another section for at least one meter for a ladder less than 11 m in length; 1.25 m, for a ladder between 11 m and 15 m in length; or 1.5 m, for a ladder over 15 m in length.
  • No single portable ladder and no section of an extension ladder exceeds 9 m in length.
  • A portable ladder is secured against movement and is placed on stable, level base during use.
  • A portable ladder extends at least one metre above a platform, roof or other landing when used as a means of access.
  • A portable ladder other than a stepladder, is placed against a structure so that the slope of the ladder is no more than 1:4.
  • A stepladder is not more than 6 m high when set for use and has legs that are securely held in position by metal braces or an equivalent rigid support. 

An employer must ensure a worker:

  • Uses a stepladder or other commercially manufactured portable ladder in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and safe operating instructions.
  • Using a portable ladder, other than a stepladder:
    • Does not extend any part of his or her body, except his or her arms, beyond the side rails of the ladder.
    • Maintains a three-point contact on the ladder at all times.
  • Does not perform work from either of the top two rungs, steps or cleats of:
    • A portable ladder, other than a stepladder, unless the manufacturer's specifications for the ladder permit it.
    • A stepladder, unless it has a railed platform at the top, or the manufacturer's specifications for the stepladder permit it.

Fixed Ladders

Employers and owners must ensure that a ladder that is permanently fixed to a supporting building or structure:  

  • Is designed by a professional engineer, as is its permanent attachment system to the building or structure.
  • Is constructed, erected and installed in accordance with the specifications certified by a professional engineer.
  • Is equipped with a suitable safety gate, or equally effective means of protection from falling, at all access openings in floors, platforms and rest platforms. Note: This requirement does not apply to:
    • A landing that is serviced by more than one fixed ladder.
    • A fixed ladder installed before the coming into force of this regulation.
  • Where it is in a vertical position or at an angle of not more than 25 degrees to the vertical, it:
    • Meets the requirements of the ANSI Standard, ANSI 14.3 “Ladders – Fixed – Safety Requirements".
    • Has side rails that extend at least one metre above any platform, roof or other landing on the building or structure to which it is fixed.
    • Has an opening in the platform, roof or other landing that does not exceed 750 mm (29.5") x 750 mm (29.5").
    • Is equipped, if it is more than 5 m (16' 5") high, with ladder cages and rest platforms, at intervals of not more than 5 m (16' 5"), or a fall protection system that meets the requirements of Part 14 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation.
  • Where it is fixed at an angle of more than 25 degrees to the vertical or more than one horizontal to two vertical, it should be equipped with:
    • A handrail that extends its entire length and is between 800 mm (31.5") and 920 mm (36.25") above the front edge of the treads.
    • Treads that are level and uniform in width and depth and in the vertical distances between them throughout the length of the ladder.
    • On an open side, both a handrail and an intermediate rail or equivalent safeguard.

​Check out our Shop Talk and safe work procedure template on ladders. (Below the FAQs are more resources related to ladders.)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Shop Talk               Safe Work Procedure Template

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