46 CFR 160.017-21 - Approval tests.
(a) General. Each approval test must be conducted on a ladder of the longest length for which approval has been requested. If a ladder fails one of the tests in this section, the cause of the failure must be identified and any needed changes made. After a test failure and any design change, the failed test, and any other previously completed tests affected by the design change, must be rerun.
(b) Visual examination. Before starting the tests described in this section, an assembled chain ladder is examined for evidence of noncompliance with the requirements in §§ 160.017.11, 160.017-13, and 160.017-15.
(c) The following approval tests must be conducted:
(1) Strength test #1. An assembled ladder is supported so that a static load, if placed on any of its steps, would exert a force both on the step and each suspension member. A static load of 315 kg (700 lb.) is then placed on one step for at least one minute. The load must be uniformly distributed over a contact surface that is approximately 100 mm (4 in.) wide. The center of the contact surface must be at the center of the step. This test is performed on six different steps. No step may break, crack, or incur any deformation that remains after the static load is removed. No attachment between any step and a suspension member may loosen or break during this test.
(2) Strength test #2. A ladder is suspended vertically to its full length from its top lashing rings. A static load of 900 kg (2000 lbs.) is then applied to the bottom lashing rings so that it is distributed equally between the suspension members. The suspension members, lashing rings, and spacer ears must not break, incur any elongation or deformation that remains after the test load is removed, or be damaged in any other way during this test.
(3) Strength test #3. A rolled-up ladder is attached by its top lashing rings to anchoring fixtures in a location away from any wall or structure that would prevent it from falling freely, and where it can hang to its full length vertically. The ladder when dropped must unroll freely. When unrolling the ladder, its steps and attachments must not become cracked, broken, or loosened. Other similar damage making the ladder unsafe to use must likewise not occur.