Most people will agree that OSHA requires ladders to be tied off when in use, but this is not necessarily true. Actual OSHA requirements specify that ladders must be secured when on slippery surfaces or when the ladder could be displaced by workplace activities. Securing the ladder could be tying it off at the top, or it could be any number of other things such as having someone hold the ladder in place.
Securing the ladder is specified in two main instances: short ladders and ladders in front of doorways. When a ladder is placed where opening a door could displace the ladder, there must be a person or signage in place to prevent the door from opening. In situations where the ladder does not extend 3 feet above the upper landing surface it must be secured at the top to a rigid support that will not deflect and a grasping device must be provided to assist in mounting and dismounting the ladder.
*Unless specific citations are shown, all answers are based on interpretations provided by authorized officials. As such, all information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.