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Subchapter 14. Petroleum Safety Orders--Drilling and Production
Article 18. Standard Type Derricks
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§6564. Derrick Ladders.

(a) (G-2, G-3) Every derrick shall be equipped with a fixed ladder or ladders providing access from the derrick floor to the derrick crown platform and to each intervening outside derrick platform.

EXCEPTION: The lower end of fixed ladders may be terminated at a height not to exceed ten feet (10') above the floor or working area. A secured portable ladder of similar design shall provide access to the lower section of the fixed ladder when the ladder is in use.

(b) (G-2, G-3) The width of ladders shall be at least twelve inches (12"), measured from the inside of the side rails.

(c) (G-2, G-3) Uniform and parallel rung or step spacing shall be employed and shall be not less than twelve inches (12") nor more than sixteen inches (16") from top to top of rungs or steps. The clear space between rungs or steps shall be not less than eight inches (8").

(d) (G-2, G-3) Where sections of a ladder are spliced, they shall be so supported at the splice that the ladder will be aligned and the splice will not be stressed beyond its safe working limit.

(e) On the climbing side of the ladder, a clear and unobstructed space shall be maintained to a distance of at least twelve inches (12") from each side of a center line drawn vertically through the center of the ladder width and to a distance at least twenty-four inches (24") outward from the front of the ladder rungs or steps; provided, however, this does not apply to ladderway openings in platforms, nor does it forbid the use of safety devices to prevent or control falls from a ladder when the use of the device is approved by the Division or designed and constructed in compliance with recognized national standards such as ANSI, UL or Factory Mutual.

(f) (G-2, G-3) Throughout the length and width of the back of the ladder, a space of at least four inches (4") shall be maintained clear of all obstructions that present a tripping hazard, prevent a safe footing, or prevent a secure handhold to the ladder rungs or steps.

(g) No ladder shall lean backward from the vertical. Ladders may, if necessary, lean sideways from the vertical but not in excess of three degrees (3o), provided, however, that the slope of the rungs or steps, in the width dimension of the ladder, shall not exceed two degrees (2o) from the horizontal.

(h) (G-2, G-3) The lowest rung or step of a ladder or ladder section shall be not more than sixteen inches (16") above the derrick floor or platform landing.

(i) (G-2, G-3) Every ladder shall be secured with bolts, brackets, or equivalent fastening.

(j) (G-2, G-3) The top end of each ladder or ladder section providing access to the derrick crown platform, outside derrick platform, ladder offset platform, inside derrick platform, monkey board platform or any fixed platform in or on a derrick shall extend at least three and one-half feet (3 1/2') above the platform.

(k) (G-3) Continuous ladders or ladder sections shall be provided with platforms at intervals not exceeding forty feet (40') upon which the employee may rest. Such platforms shall be not less than twelve inches (12") in depth, nor less than eighteen inches (18") in width. Handholds shall be provided above the rest platform. Toeboards and railings are not required.

(l) Ladders constructed of wood shall be as follows:

(1) (G-2, G-3) Side rails shall be not less than two by four inches (2" x 4"), nominal size.

(2) (G-2, G-3) Rungs or steps shall be not less than one by four inches (1" x 4"), nominal size.

(3) (G-2, G-3) In addition to nailing rungs or steps to the side rails, provision shall be made to prevent the rungs or steps from being pulled off under normal use. This shall be done by nailing strips of not less than one by two inch (1" x 2") lumber to the side rails, over the ends of the rungs, or steps, or by other means providing equivalent fastenings.

(4) (G-2, G-3) The top and bottom of each side rail of the ladder section shall be secured to the derrick with bolts at least three-eighths inch (3/8") in diameter or other equivalent means.

Lag screws, spikes or nails are not acceptable as a means of securing such ladders in place.

(m) Ladder cages are not required on any standard type derrick.

(n) Every (G-1) derrick shall be equipped with a securely fastened fixed ladder or ladders providing access from the derrick floor to the derrick crown and to each intervening derrick platform in or on the derrick.

NOTE: These ladders need not meet the detailed specifications required by other subsections of this article specifically applying to (G-2) or (G-3) derricks.

(o) If derrick ladders are offset, such offsets shall occur only at outside derrick platforms or ladder offset platforms.

(p) Counterweighted ladder climbing assist devices may be used in conjunction with a ladder climbing safety device or in conjunction with rest platforms on the ladder in conformance with these orders. If the assist device is used in conjunction with ladders with rest platforms, the counterweight shall weigh no more than 100 pounds. Employees using the assist device will be instructed in proper use of the device.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. Amendment filed 7-20-59; effective thirtieth day thereafter. (Register 59, No. 12).

2. Amendment of Exception, subsections (e), (i), (k), (k)(3)-(4), (n), new subsection (p), and amendment of Note filed 5-8-95; operative 6-7-95 (Register 95, No. 19).

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