New OSHA Fixed Ladder Timeline

Effective January 17th, 2017

Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures, November 19th, 2018.

Replacement of cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet, November 18th, 2036.

Effective January 17, 2017, OSHA issued a final rule updating its General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces standards specific to slip, trip, and fall hazards.

Ladder cages are no longer considered lawful fall protection. The new rule requires that any fixed ladders over 24ft installed after November 2018 must have an active fall protection system. In addition, any repairs or replacement of a ladder, cage-well, or portion thereof must be updated to the specifications listed in OSHA’s General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces standards:

“The final rule will increase workplace protection from those hazards, especially fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels; “OSHA believes advances in technology and greater flexibility will reduce worker deaths and injuries from falls.”

The final rule brings consistency between the general industry and construction standards.

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