Health & Safety Consultancy, Information & Management
Sussexsafety.net has designed a ladder safety training programme covering:
Hazards and pre checks
Classes of ladders
Positioning of ladders
Safe use of ladders
It includes video materials and workbooks to ensure learning has taken place.
Contact Sussexsafaty.net now to book your training session
Ladders can be used if after assessing the risks the use of more suitable work equipment is not justified because of the low risk and short duration.
Short duration is taken to be between 15 and 30 minutes depending upon the task.
Ladders can also be used for low risk work where there are features on the site that mean a ladder must be used.
Incorrect Placement of Ladders
Make sure that when positioning a ladder the ground you place it on is level, firm and clear of loose debris etc. The correct angle for using a ladder is 1 in 4.
Ladders should never be placed in front of a door that is not locked, blocked, or guarded.
Always ensure a ladder is secured; this can either be at the top, the bottom or both, making sure both stiles are tied. As a last resort have a second person foot the ladder.
The feet of the ladder can be staked if you are using a ladder outside and no one is available to support the feet of the ladder.
There are over 1000 serious ladder related accidents every year and ladders account for more than a quarter of all falls.
The HSE's key message is that ladders should only be used for low-risk, short-duration work.
Selecting the wrong type of ladder
Consider when selecting an appropriate ladder ithe weight capacity, each ladder is designed to support a maximum weight limit. Check the ladder is classified as class 1.
Incorrect Use of Ladders
Never use a ladder in any other way than what the manufacturer intended it to be used for. Three points of contact should be maintained at all times and many accidents have occured when:
Using the wrong ladder for the job
Using the ladder incorrectly
Using Worn or Damaged Ladders
Ladders like any other equipment can become damaged over a period of time, rungs can loosen, cracks can develop so it is important they are thoroughly checked before use.
You do not need to fall from a great height to be badly injured. More people get injuries such as broken arms or legs falling less than 2m from a ladder than falling from above this height.
For example, a construction worker was killed after they lost their footing on the second rung of a ladder and fell backwards, hitting their head on the floor.
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When can ladders be used?
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