OSHA Ladder Hoop Specifications

Updated April 17, 2017

Ladder cages, or hoops, surround tall ladders to help prevent workers from falling to injury or death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates how ladders utilising these cages are used.

Fixed Ladder Requirements

Fixed ladders higher than 24 feet always require ladder safety devices such as a cage. If the ladder is not 24 feet long but its top is 24 feet or more from the nearest landing, it has the same requirements.

Cage Specifications

Cages must surround an area between 27 and 30 inches from the centre of the ladder. The horizontal hoops must be placed at least every 4 feet, and the vertical rails no more than 9.5 inches apart. The bottom hoop must be between 7 and 8 feet from the bottom of the ladder, and the vertical bars cannot extend more than 4 inches beyond there. The top of the cage has to be at least 42 inches above the point of access.

Securing Ladder Hoops

Mounting the cage cannot weaken the ladder in any way. The hoops may be attached to either the side or rear of the ladder as long as it does not impair workers. Vertical rails on a ladder cage must be secured to the inner ring of the hoops.

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About the Author

Gabe Mariani is a railroader who has been writing for school and for pleasure for over 15 years. He has had work published on a number of websites since 2004, including Pop Culture Shock and He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Widener University.