Around 14 deaths and 12000 major injuries to workers involving ladders and stepladders occur each year. These incidents result from incorrect or inappropriate use of equipment and are therefore preventable.
It is essential to know:
Ø When to use a ladder
Ø What type of ladder should be used
Ø How to use it
Ø How to maintain it
Ø What precautions should be taken
When is a Ladder or Stepladder Suitable?
If possible work at height should be avoided. When it is necessary it is important to assess if a ladder is the most suitable piece of equipment to use. When making this decision the following factors need to be considered:
Is it suitable for the activity?
Ladders should only be used:
Ø In one place for a maximum of 30 minutes
Ø For light work
Ø Where a handhold is available on the ladder
Ø Where the activity allows the user to maintain 3 points of contact on the ladder
Ø Carrying items should be avoided when climbing the ladder
Ø If carrying is required on hand must be kept free to grip the ladder
Is it a safe location to use a ladder?
Ladders and Stepladders should only be used:
Ø On firm ground
Ø On level ground – can be used on a side slope of 16o which has been levelled
- can be used on a 6 o back slope
Ø On clean, solid surfaces to allow feet to grip
Ladders should only be used where:
Ø They will not be struck by vehicles
Ø Where they will not be pushed over
Ø Where pedestrians are prevented from walking under or near them
Ø Where they can be put at the correct angle of 75 o
All users of ladders must be provided with appropriate training on how to set up and use a ladder. They should also be informed on the suitable situations to use a ladder and when other equipment should be used as well when it is safe for them to be used.
The information used in this article is for guidance only and should not be used in place of recognised training and guidelines.
Safety First Aid
Safety First Aid are supplies of a wide range of first aid kits, first aid supplies and health & safety products to ensure that your workplace has all the first aid equipment that it requires.
We have first aid kits designed for specific environments as well as a comprehensive range of dressings & wound care and eye & burn care products.