Roof Access Ladder Legislation

At Liftsafe Fall Protection we design, engineer, fabricate, inspect and install fixed access ladders throughout North America. Our fixed access ladders can be customized for your specific application and can be custom designed to meet even the most stringent of requirements.

Legislative Requirements

1) Section 19 of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments states:
Where frequent access is required to equipment elevated above or located below floor level, permanent platforms shall be provided with access by a fixed stair or access ladder.

1) Section 18 (1) of the regulation states:
An access ladder fixed in position shall,

A) Be vertical;
B) Have rest platforms at not more than 9 metre (30 ft) intervals;
C) Be offset at each rest platform;
D) Where the ladder extends over 5 metres (16 ft) above grade, floor or landing, have a safety cage commencing not more than 2.2 metres (7 ft) above grade and continuing at least 90 centimetres (36 inches) above the top landing with openings to permit access by a worker to rest platforms or to the top landing;
E) Have side rails that extend 90 centimetres (36 inches) above the landing; and
F) Have rungs which are at least 15 centimetres (6 inches) from the wall and spaced at regular intervals.

2) Section 18 (2) of the regulation also states that: Subsection (1) does not apply to an access ladder on a tower, water tank, chimney or similar structure which has a safety device which will provide protection should a worker using the ladder fall.

 Other highlights from the Regulations for Industrial Establishments include:

2. General
Fixed access ladders must be designed, constructed, installed and maintained so as not to endanger a worker, and must be capable of withstanding all loads to which they may be subjected.a. Structural design, including attachment methods, should be performed by a Professional Engineer.

3. Rungs
1) The top of the uppermost rung of a ladder must be level with the top of the access/egress level or landing platform served by the ladder. Where there is a parapet, the access/egress level would be the roof if the parapet is cut to permit passage through the parapet. However, if the parapet is continuous, the access/egress level would be the top of the parapet.
2) Rungs should have a non-slip surface.

5. Safety Cages
With an elevated access, a cage must be provided where the top of the ladder is greater than 5 metres (16 ft) above ground level, roof or floor and where there is a danger of a worker falling from the ladder to the ground level, roof or floor, even if the length of the climb is less than 5 metres (16 ft).

6. Attachment & Anchoring
Structural soundness of the wall, member or piece of equipment to which the ladder is to be attached must be confirmed by a competent person, prior to installation of the ladder.

8. Inspection
1) Fixed access ladder installations must be periodically inspected by a competent person for rust, corrosion and structural integrity, and must be maintained in a good condition, not likely to endanger any worker. These inspections should be conducted at least once per year.
2) Records of inspections and maintenance to fixed access ladder systems should be maintained.

9. References
ANSI A14.3 – 1992, American National Standard for Ladders, Fixed – Safety Requirements
USDOL – OHSA, 1910.27 Fixed Ladders
O.B.C. – 1990, Ontario Building Code

Additional Rooftop Safety Resources 

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Fixed Access Ladder Inspection Information > 

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