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The Importance of Safety Ladder Maintenance

Safety Ladder InspectionSmokestacks and industrial chimneys are usually equipped with permanent vertical access ladders for workers to reach elevated work surfaces for inspection, repair, or maintenance.  These important components are subject to weather conditions and other stresses that can cause deterioration and serious safety issues if left unattended.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific requirements regarding ladders, platforms, catwalks and safety cages, so it’s important to make sure your ladder systems are up to code to prevent any accidents, citations or fines.  Because many of these structures are constructed with galvanized steel, they are subject to rust and corrosion.  In extreme cases, corrosion left unchecked has caused components to fail while in use, or to detach from the structure and fall.  Regular inspections of climbing systems and repairs when needed are vital to protect the people who inspect and service your tall structure, as well as any person, equipment, piping, wiring or structure in close proximity to it.

Rusted Climbing Ladder

Rusted areas like this on ladder access should be caught early before an area fails and creates a very unsafe situation.

Many fixed ladders also have a fall arrest system that provides a backup safety feature should the climber slip and fall. These systems, including personnel harnesses require regular, periodic inspections as keeping these systems in great condition is imperative.  Having a regular inspection on safety ladders & climbs can help identify rusting, cracks, loose or missing bolts or anchors or other areas of vulnerability that can lead to failure.  A qualified rope access technician can provide climbing inspections on these systems for metal smokestacks, silos, water tanks, industrial chimneys, and more.

If you are interested in including safety ladder inspections and repairs in your regular maintenance plan, talk with the work-at-height professionals at Industrial Access. We will repair, spot weld, remount, and even replace worn out safety ladders, fall arrest systems, safety cages, platforms and safety railings to ensure that your climbing & ladder systems are safe to use and remain up to code and OSHA standards. Contact us today for more information.

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