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OSHA 1926 Subpart X – Stairways and Ladders

            OSHA 1926 subpart X applies to all ladders and stairways used in the alteration, construction, and repair of workplaces that are covered under 29 CFR 1926. The subpart also specifies circumstances under which ladders and stairways must be utilized (OSHA, n.d.). This part acts as a guide to construction companies on how to ensure the safety of their employees at construction sites. The subpart also serves to protect and uphold the safety of construction workers. The subpart gives the definitions, scope, application, and general requirements relevant to it. .
             Application and Relevance of the Subpart.
             The subpart has two general requirements. The first requirement is that the employer must provide a ladder or stairway at all employee access points where there is an elevation break of 48 centimeters and no runway, ramp, personnel hoist, or sloped embankment is provided. The ladder or stairway acts as a link between the two points. The subpart also gives several instructions under the first general requirement. The first instruction regards the use of spiral stairways. Spiral stairways should only be used if they are provided as permanent structural component of the structure under construction. Secondly, at least two separate ladders or a double-cleated ladder should be used when a ladder is supposed to serve not less than 25 workers or when a stepladder is supposed to serve a two-way traffic simultaneously. If the building or structure being constructed has a single access point between levels, then this point should be kept clear at all times to ensure free passage of employees. An additional access point must be used if this point of access is being used for work that will most likely interfere with the free passage of personnel between levels. For structures and buildings having more than one points of access, one of these points must be clear at all times to allow free movement of personnel (OSHA, n.

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