Unprotected Fixed Ladders

November 22, 2022

OSHA 1910.28(b)(3)(iv):

“Each employee is protected from falling into a ladderway floor hole or ladderway platform hole by a guardrail system and toe boards erected on all exposed sides, except at the entrance to the hole, where a self-closing gate or an offset must be used,” as per 29 CFR 1910.28

According to OSHA, “Falls are the leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths among roofers. Working six feet or more above lower levels put roofers at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. A lack of fall protection, damaged fall protection equipment, or improper setup will increase their risk of falling from height.”


SRS offers multiple solutions to protect workers from the dangers of falling down a fixed ladder.

1. Safety-gates compliant with 29 CFR 1910.29(b)(13):
      •  KEE® Self-Closing Safety Gate satisfies OSHA standards for guarding ladder-ways, stairways, scaffolding and other openings. The gate features a spring loaded, self-closing hinge. Its universal attachment bracket works with railing, roof hatches, ladders, and scaffolding.

 2. Fixed Ladder Lifelines compliant with 29 CFR 1926.1053(a)(18) and 29 CFR 1910.28(b)(9):

      • NextGen SecuRope™ is a vertical cable lifeline connected with a vertical glider and brake allowing the climber to safely ascend and descend the ladder. The glider will lock instantly in case of a fall.
      • NextGen SecuRail™ is a vertical rail lifeline connected with a trolley equipped with a brake. It can be retrofitted on existing ladders.

Additional OSHA Code Detail:

1910.29(b)(13): When guardrail systems are used around holes that serve as points of access (such as ladderways), the guardrail system opening: Has a self-closing gate that slides or swings away from the hole, and is equipped with a top rail and mid-rail or equivalent intermediate member that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section; or is offset to prevent an employee from walking or falling into the hole.

New OSHA code: 1910.29(b) replaces previous OSHA code: 1910.23(a). Therefore, if you are currently using chains, single-bar or drop-bar style gates in an access point or opening, they are no longer compliant and need to be replaced.

1926.1053(a)(18): Fixed ladders shall be provided with cages, wells, ladder safety devices, or self-retracting lifelines where the length of climb is less than 24 feet (7.3 m) but the top of the ladder is at a distance greater than 24 feet (7.3 m) above lower levels.

1910.28(b)(9): For fixed ladders that extend more than 24 feet (7.3 m) above a lower level, the employer must ensure: Each fixed ladder installed before November 19, 2018 is equipped with a personal fall arrest system, ladder safety system, cage, or well; Each fixed ladder installed on and after November 19, 2018, is equipped with a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system. When a fixed ladder, cage, or well, or any portion of a section thereof, is replaced, a personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system is installed in at least that section of the fixed ladder, cage, or well where the replacement is located. On and after November 18, 2036, all fixed ladders are equipped with a personal fall arrest system or a ladder safety system.