British Columbia Ladder Safety
This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose.
© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Copyright Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia Richmond, B.C., Canada. All rights reserved.
WORKERS COMPENSATION (OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY) AMENDMENT ACT, 1998
Part 4 — General Conditions
Buildings, Structures and Equipment
4.61 Elevated walkways must be at least 50 cm (20 in) wide, and safe access to walkways must be provided by means of stairs, ramps or fixed ladders.
Part 13 Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms
Division 2 – Ladders
(1) A ladder, window cleaner's belt or work platform must meet and be used in accordance with
(a) the applicable CSA or ANSI standard in effect when the equipment or structure was manufactured, except as otherwise determined by the Board,
(b) another standard acceptable to the Board, or
(c) if there is no applicable standard under paragraphs (a) or (b), the requirements of a professional engineer.
(2) In designing and installing a work platform, appropriate safety factors and minimum rated loads must be used in the materials and method of installation, in accordance with
(a) WCB Standard WPL 1, Design, Construction and Use of Wood Frame Scaffolds, 2004,
(b) WCB Standard WPL 2, Design, Construction and Use of Crane Supported Work Platforms, 2004,
(c) WCB Standard WPL 3, Safety Factor and Minimum Breaking Strength for Suspended Work Platforms and Associated Components, 2004, and
(d) WCB Standard LDR 1, Job Built Ladders, 2004. [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 422/2004, effective January 1, 2005.]
A ladder, window cleaner's belt, work platform and associated components must be inspected before use on each shift, and after any modification, and any condition that might endanger workers must be remedied before the equipment is used. [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 422/2004, effective January 1, 2005.]
13.4 Manufactured ladders
A manufactured portable ladder must be marked for the grade of material used to construct the ladder and the use for which the ladder is constructed. [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 422/2004, effective January 1, 2005.]
13.5 Position and stability
A ladder must
(a) be placed on a firm and level base,
(b) be positioned so that the horizontal distance from the base to vertical plane of support is approximately ¼ of the ladder length,
(c) have sufficient length to project approximately 1 m (3 ft) above the upper landing to which it provides access, and
(d) if necessary, be secured to ensure stability during use. [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 422/2004, effective January 1, 2005.]
13.6 Use restrictions
(1) If work cannot be done from a ladder without hazard to a worker, a work platform must be provided.
(2) A worker must not carry up or down a ladder, heavy or bulky objects or any other objects which may make ascent or descent unsafe. [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 422/2004, effective January 1, 2005.]
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards for ladders can be found at:
CAN/CSA-Z11-M81 (R2005)-Portable Ladders (Developing New Edition)
Part 14 — Cranes and Hoists Definitions
14.1 In this Part: "sign truck" means a truck that is
(a) capable of acting as a crane and as an aerial ladder, and
(b) used as a work platform or used for hoisting loads or accessing a work location;
Mobile Cranes, Boom Trucks and and Sign Trucks Sign trucks
14.73 (1) A sign truck must be inspected, maintained and operated according to the requirements for mobile cranes, and for elevating work platforms in Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms).
(43) When a sign truck is being used, the load rating charts for the configuration in use must be available at the workplace.
Tower Cranes Access
14.88 (1) A tower crane must have a fixed ladder installed in or on the mast to provide access to the jib and crown of the crane.
(2) The ladder under subsection (1) must meet the following requirements:
(a) the ladder must be able to support two 1.1 kN (250 lbs.) point loads between any two consecutive points where the ladder is attached to the crane;
(b) there must be a minimum horizontal distance of 15 cm (6 in.) between the rungs and the object to which the ladder is attached;
(c) landing platforms must be provided at least every 9 m (30 ft.) on the ladder;
(d) each section of the ladder must be offset horizontally from adjacent sections or the landing platforms must have trap doors;
(e) if a section of the ladder has a climb exceeding 6 m (20 ft.) in length, that section of ladder must have a ladder safety cage 68 cm to 76 cm (27 in. to 30 in.) in diameter or a ladder safety device must be used.
Part 16 — Mobile Equipment
16.2 This Part applies to mobile equipment used by or around workers. Standards
16.7 The design, fabrication, use, inspection and maintenance of mobile equipment must meet the requirements of the following applicable standard:
(h) Vehicles with Mounted Aerial Devices (firefighting equipment): NFPA 1904, Aerial Ladder and Elevating Platform Fire Apparatus, 1991 Edition;
Part 19 — Electrical Safety Working on Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Disconnection and lockout
19.10 (1) Low voltage electrical equipment must be completely disconnected and locked out as required by this Regulation before starting work on it.
(2) Except as specified in subsection (3), if it is not practicable to completely disconnect low voltage electrical equipment, work must be performed by qualified and authorized workers and in accordance with written safe work procedures which
(a) require the use of appropriate electrical protective equipment, including rubber gloves and cover up, and other necessary live line tools,
(b) provide that, if practicable, uncontrolled liquid is not permitted close to any worker working on the equipment, and
(c) if applicable, control the use of metal ladders, wooden ladders with wire reinforced side rails, metal scaffolds or metal work platforms.
Working on High Voltage Electrical Equipment
Isolation and lockout
19.16 (1) High voltage electrical equipment must, if practicable, be completely isolated, grounded, and locked out as required by this Regulation before starting work on it.
(2) If it is not practicable to completely isolate high voltage electrical equipment,
(a) written safe work procedures acceptable to the Board must be followed,
(b) two or more qualified and authorized persons must be present while the work is being done, unless the procedures being followed under paragraph (a) specifically permit the work to be done by one person,
(c) appropriate electrical protective equipment, including rubber blankets, hoses, hoods, gloves and live line tools must be selected, used, stored, tested, and maintained in accordance with a standard acceptable to the Board, and
(d) the use of metal ladders, wire reinforced side rail wooden ladders, metal scaffolds or metal work platforms must be in accordance with the procedures established under paragraph (a).
Part 20 — Construction, Excavation and Demolition
Safe Work Areas and Safe Access Safe access
20.4 (1) Where practicable, suitable ladders, work platforms and scaffolds meeting the requirements of Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms) must be provided for and used by a worker for activities requiring positioning at elevations above a floor or grade.
(2) There must be suitable access for the safe delivery of equipment and materials to locations in the workplace where they will be used.
[en. B.C. Reg. 420/2004, s. 7; am. B.C. Reg. 243/2006, s. 11.]
Roof Work Crawl boards and ladders
20.74 (1) Crawl boards or ladders used for roof work must be securely fastened over the ridge of the roof, or must be otherwise effectively anchored.
(2) The use of an eavestrough to support a crawl board or ladder on a roof is prohibited.
Marine Construction, Pile Driving and Dredging Suspended work platforms
20.102 (1) Suspended work platforms such as gilley boards, small boats and buckets used to support workers must meet the requirements for suspended work platforms in Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms).
Part 22 — Underground Workings Raises General requirement
22.106 (1) The employer must ensure that
(a) where a timber work platform is used, the main platform bearers are securely pinned to prevent them from dislodging,
(b) ladderways and travelways used for foot traffic are maintained in good repair and clean condition,
(c) a raise in excess of 50º measured from horizontal and 15 m (50 ft) in length has separate compartments for the passage of workers and blasted material during the driving operation and, where timber is used, that it is installed to within 5 m (16 ft) of the face, and
(d) if an accessway and a skipway occupy the same compartment in a raise, the accessway is not used by workers when the skip is in motion, and a guard is installed between the accessway and skipway to prevent workers from falling into the skipway.
The requirements of subsection (1) do not apply to a raise using mechanical raise equipment.
Suspended drill platforms
22.109 The employer must ensure that a suspended drill platform
(a) complies with the requirements in Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms) for suspended work platforms,
(b) is stabilized to prevent lateral sway or spinning while in the work position,
(c) is provided with a protective canopy that fully covers the work platform during the first access following a blast, and provides protection for workers if a section is left open for work purposes,
(d) has an effective means of two-way communication between the hoist operator and the work platform, and the communication line is protected from damage,
(e) is provided with a safe means of emergency escape, and
(f) is examined at the beginning of each shift, and has any defects corrected before use.
Hoists and Shafts Access ways
22.140 The employer must ensure that ladder ways, access ways, and platforms are maintained in a safe and clean condition and kept clear of the material hoist system.
Part 23 — Oil and Gas Ladder platforms
23.45 (1) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 312/2003, App. J, s. 8 (a).]
(2) A personal fall arrest system meeting the requirements of Part 11 (Fall Protection) may be used in place of a ladder safety system where such ladder system is required by the standard referenced in Part 13 (Ladders, Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms).
(3) Ladder platforms must be located as follows:
(a) on a triple-stand derrick, 2 or more between the floor and the derrickhand platform, and one or more between the derrickhand platform and the crown;
(b) on a double-stand derrick, one or more between the floor and the derrickhand platform;
(c) on a single-stand derrick, one platform at the level of the derrickhand platform;
(d) at the crown of each drilling rig.
(4) The platforms required by subsection (3) must, as far as practicable, be equally spaced, but not more than 9 m (30 ft) apart.
[am. B.C. Regs. 312/2003, App. J, s. 8; 422/2004, s. 2.]
Part 24 — Diving, Fishing and Other Marine Operations Wharves, Docks and Mooring Floats Ladders
24.2 Fixed ladders must be provided at every dock for access to and egress from the water, and must
(a) be spaced at intervals not exceeding 30 m (100 ft),
(b) extend from the top of the dock to at least 1 m (3.3 ft) below the lowest water level,
(c) be maintained free of barnacles and marine growth, and
(d) have their location identified by high visibility paint on the curb or bullrail.
Access and egress
24.83 Every portable ladder or gangway between a fishing vessel and shore, between vessels, or when used on board a vessel must be designed and rigged to provide safe access and egress.
Part 28 — Agriculture Definitions
28.1 In this Part:
"orchard ladder" means a self-supporting portable ladder of the tripod type, wide at the bottom and tapering towards the top, non-adjustable in length, and consisting of side rails, flat steps and a hinged, single leg back section.
[en. B.C. Reg. 312/2004.]
Orchard ladders exception
28.25 Sections 13.2 (1) and 13.5 (a), (b) and (c) do not apply to orchard ladders. [en. B.C. Reg. 312/2004; am. B.C. Reg. 422/2004, s. 3.]
Orchard ladders design
28.26 An orchard ladder must
(a) meet the construction requirements of CSA Standard CAN3-Z11-M81, Portable Ladders, except that the spreader requirement does not apply to orchard ladders,
(b) have a rail spread that increases at least an average of 6 cm (2.5 in) for each 30 cm (12 in) of ladder length, and
(c) when necessary for safety, have the feet of the ladder equipped with steel points or other non-slipping bases designed for the ground on which the ladder will be used.
[en. B.C. Reg. 312/2004.]
Orchard ladders instructions and use
28.27 (1) An employer must ensure that
(a) the ladder used is appropriate for the task, and
(b) a worker using an orchard ladder is instructed in its proper use.
(2) Repealed. [B.C. Reg. 422/2004, s. 4.] [en. B.C. Reg. 312/2004; am. B.C. Reg. 422/2004, s. 4.]
Previously installed fixed ladders exception
28.28 Despite section 13.2 (1) (a), a fixed ladder existing on or before January 1, 2006, and not conforming to the current or an earlier edition of ANSI Standard A14.3-1992, Safety Requirements for Fixed Ladders, may remain in use subject to any modifications considered necessary by the Board.
[en. B.C. Reg. 312/2004; am. B.C. Reg. 422/2004, s. 5.]
Part 29 — Aircraft Operations
31.17 (1) A firefighter working on an aerial ladder must wear a safety belt and lanyard meeting the requirements of CSA Standard Z259.1-95, Safety Belts and Lanyards, and the securing lanyard must limit a fall to no more than 30 cm (12 in).
(2) A firefighter located on an aerial platform must wear a full body harness and lanyard meeting the requirements of Part 11 (Fall Protection).
(3) Rescue ropes, rappelling lines and safety belts and harnesses including safety hooks, rope grabs, lowering devices, and related equipment must meet the requirements of NFPA 1983, Fire Service Life Safety Rope, Harness and Hardware, 1990 Edition.
(4) The incident commander may depart from the requirements of Part 11 (Fall Protection) to use a fall protection system if, in the incident commander's opinion, such compliance is not practicable or may create a greater hazard, but subsections (1) to (3) of this section must be complied with.
[am. B.C. Regs. 312/2003, App. A, s. 4; 312/2003, App. A, ss. 4 and 5.]
Aerial Devices and Ground Ladders
31.33 An aerial device used for firefighting must meet the requirements of NFPA 1904, Aerial Ladder and Elevating Platform Fire Apparatus, 1991 Edition.
[am. B.C. Reg. 312/2003, App. A, s. 5.]
31.37 (1) A ground ladder used by firefighters must meet the requirements of
NFPA 1931, Design of and Design Verification Tests for Fire Department Ground Ladders, 1989 Edition.
(2) A ground ladder must be used, tested and maintained in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 1932, Use, Maintenance, and Service Testing of Fire Department Ground Ladders, 1989 Edition.
[am. B.C. Reg. 312/2003, App. A, s. 5.]
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