ES&H Manual



6132 Appendix T3

Ladder Use on Scaffold or Elevated Platform



1.0             Purpose


When a scaffold or other elevated work platform height is not adequate for a worker to safely reach a work area, the preferred method for elevating the worker is to add an additional level to the structure. When this is not feasible, Jefferson Lab allows a ladder to be used on the platform but only when specific requirements are met. This appendix provides these requirements.


2.0             Scope


This appendix applies when a worker is on an elevated platform and is, by any means, elevated above the passive fall protection (i.e., guardrails) system provided. See ES&H Manual Chapter 6131 Fall Protection Systems for more information on passive fall protection.


This appendix is written in coordination with ES&H Manual Chapter 6132 Ladder and Scaffold Safety. All relevant content within the chapter applies to the responsibilities and requirements outlined in this appendix.


3.0             Responsibilities

NOTE:     Management authority may be delegated to a task qualified Jefferson Lab employee at the discretion of the responsible manager.


3.1              Ladder/Scaffold Worker

·         Complete SAF 307 Ladder Safety training before using a ladder on an elevated platform.

·         Obtain authorization and scaffold training[1] from the Competent Person – Scaffold/Supervisor before using a ladder on a scaffold structure.


3.1              Competent Person – Scaffold/Supervisor

·         Prior to authorizing the use of a ladder on a scaffold or elevated platform ensure an alternate method (e.g., additional level, man-lift) is not feasible.

·         Ensure platform setup meets fall protection requirements. See also ES&H Manual Chapter 6131 Fall Protection System.


4.0             Requirements

Unless otherwise stated only trained and qualified Ladder/Scaffold Workers may perform the process steps listed below.  


4.1              Use of Ladder on Elevated Platform Requirements


Step 1:            Examine the Platform

·         For All Structures: Ensure the passive fall protection (i.e.: guardrail) system on the working level of the platform meets or exceeds OSHA requirements; and all sides of the platform are protected. Contact the Competent Person – Scaffold/Supervisor if the system is inadequate.

·         For Scaffold Structure – Ensure the structure has been planned, selected, erected, and inspected in accordance with the requirements of ES&H Manual Chapter 6132 Appendix T2 Scaffolds.


Step 2:            Inspect the Ladder Equipment and Ensure Proper Use

·         Inspect the ladder to be used in accordance with the requirements of ES&H Manual Chapter 6132 Appendix T1 Ladders. 

·         Ensure the “Highest Standing Level” (designated on the ladder’s Duty Rating Sticker) is adequate for the work.


Step 3:            Ladder Set-Up

·         Position the ladder at the location desired.

·         Measure the distance from the ladder’s base to the nearest platform edge.




The ladder’s highest standing level (D1) plus 6 feet is greater than or equal the distance from the ladder base to the nearest platform edge (D2)


Competent Person – Scaffold/Supervisor:

·      Increase the top rail height of the guard rail to a distance adequate for the ladder’s highest standing level (D1).


·      Incorporate another method of fall protection. See ES&H Manual Chapter 6131 Fall Protection Systems.



The ladder’s highest standing level (D1) plus 6 feet is less than the distance from the ladder base to the nearest platform edge (D2).



Guardrail system, as designed, is considered adequate fall protection.


Figure 1: Ladder on Elevated Platform

(Picture is not to scale)


5.0             References


In all cases, when a ladder is used on a scaffold platform, the following mitigation is required in accordance with “29 CFR 1926 Subpart L 451(f)(15):

(i)                 When the ladder is placed against a structure which is not a part of the scaffold, the scaffold shall be secured against the sideways thrust exerted by the ladder;

(ii)              The platform units shall be secured to the scaffold to prevent their movement;

(iii)            The ladder legs shall be on the same platform or other means shall be provided to stabilize the ladder against unequal platform deflection, and

(iv)             The ladder legs shall be secured to prevent them from slipping or being pushed off the platform.”


6.0             Revision Summary


Periodic Review – 08/09/19 – no changes per TPOC

Periodic Review – 08/12/16 – review cycle adjusted to reflect high risk category; no substantive changes    

Revision 0.1 01/30/14   Changed TPOC from N.Walker to B.Manzlak

Revision 0.0 – 07/27/11 – This is new content









ESH&Q Division

Bert Manzlak





This document is controlled as an on-line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 8/20/2019.

[1] Scaffold training is not required when using a ladder on a permanent elevated platform structure. These structures include but are not limited to: catwalks, decks, elevated open walkway, etc.