What’s Wrong With This Picture?

| OSHA, USF Safety Florida

Written by: David Ashman, Safety Consultant


Damaged ladders should be taken out of service or tagged out and labeled. Ladders should not be altered or repaired unless it meets the manufacturer’s original design criteria.

Applicable Standards:

1926.1053(b)(15) Ladders shall be inspected by a competent person for visible defects on a periodic basis and after any occurrence that could affect their safe use.

1926.1053(b)(16) Portable ladders with structural defects, such as, but not limited to, broken or missing rungs, cleats, or steps, broken or split rails, corroded components, or other faulty or defective components, shall either be immediately marked in a manner that readily identifies them as defective, or be tagged with “Do Not Use” or similar language, and shall be withdrawn from service until repaired.

1926.1053(b)(18) Ladder repairs shall restore the ladder to a condition meeting its original design criteria, before the ladder is returned to use.


Falls could result in sprain, strains, fractures, laceration, contusions, concussions, or even death.

Corrective Actions:

  • Remove the employee from the ladder.
  • Take the ladder out of service or tag it out with wording such as “Do Not Use” or similar language.
  • Have a competent person train or retain the employee(s) on the inspection and proper use of ladders.
  • Encourage employees to report these hazards and provided them with the authority to remove defective items from service.

For more information regarding fall protection: