A rope ladder must be of adequate width and length and so constructed that it can be efficiently secured to the ship.
- The steps must provide a slip-resistant foothold of not less than 400 mm × 115 mm × 25 mm and must be so secured that they are firmly held against twist, turnover or tilt.
- The steps must be horizontal and equally spaced at intervals of 310 mm (± 5mm).
- The side ropes, which should be a minimum of 18 mm in diameter, should be equally spaced.
- There should be no shackles, knots or splices between rungs.
- Ladders of more than 1.5 metres in length must be fitted with spreaders not less than 1.8 metres long. The lowest spreader must be on the fifth step from the bottom and the interval between spreaders must not exceed nine steps. The spreaders should not be lashed between steps.