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Ladders require gates, not chains, to protect their openings

South Carolina residents who work in industries where fall protection is essential for their safety may be interested in some clarification of OSHA's ladder protection rules. Despite the frequent use of chains in protecting ladder openings, OSHA says they aren't sufficient and that ladders require self-closing gates to protect their openings.

The biggest danger with using a chain to close a ladder opening is that it has to be reattached by someone, which could put that person in danger since he or she will have to use one hand to reattach the chain while standing on the ladder. If the chain is not reattached, it leaves the ladder opening unprotected. Self-closing gates reduce the chances of a ladder being left unsecured due to human error.

In 1982, OSHA stated that chains could be used in place of gates as long as they are 'at least as effective" as the self-closing gates. As a result of that statement, many facilities began using chains to save money. In November 2016, OSHA created a new rule that stated that chains are not as effective as self-closing gates, so the latter method is required. There has been a great deal of confusion concerning this issue, so some workplaces may still use chains and certain equipment manufacturers may still provide them instead of gates. In these cases, the work sites and equipment are not OSHA compliant.

Construction workers have dangerous jobs, and their employers are required to follow OSHA rules or face fines and penalties. If a worker in the construction field or any other industry is injured on the job, he or she may be liable for workers' compensation insurance. Most employers are required to carry this coverage, which allows injured employees to file for workers' compensation benefits regardless of who or what caused the injury.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
Fax: 864-242-1566
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