Be Part of the Ultimate Safety & Compliance Community
Trending news, knowledge-building content, and more – all personalized to you!
While OSHA doesn’t strictly prohibit the practice of modifying portable ladders, doing so in any way can impact load limits, stability, structural integrity, etc. This could make the ladder unsafe and out of compliance with the design and construction requirements in the prescribed American National Standards Institute standard.
Any type of modification or repair should be done in consultation with the manufacturer to ensure continued safety. OSHA discusses ladder modification in a June 18, 1993 Letter of Interpretation, which says:
“… please be advised that OSHA would consider modified ladders to be in compliance with this requirement if a registered professional engineer has certified that the ladder, as modified, meets OSHA’s 3.3 to 1 strength to intended load ratio requirement and the ladder is used in accordance with the certification.” [emphasis added]
Based on this information, ladder modification would not be a recommended best practice unless done so in conjunction with the manufacturer and/or qualified engineer.