Q: We are a steel erection company and, for the last few years, we have been using only fiberglass extension and step ladders, but we have a few aluminum ladders in storage in our shop. Is there a rule regarding the use of aluminum ladders? I almost never see them used on job sites any more.
A: Aluminum ladders are not prohibited at construction sites in Oregon. The primary concern with the use of aluminum ladders is that they are electrically conductive. Oregon OSHA has a specific rule – 1926.1053(b)(12) – that may shed some light on your question. The rule says:
"Ladders shall have nonconductive siderails if they are used where the employee or the ladder could contact exposed energized electrical equipment [except as provided in OAR 437-002-2307 in Division 2/RR]."
Portable ladders used for construction work are covered by Oregon OSHA's Division 3, Subdivision X rules.