Falls from height are the biggest cause of death and serious injury – so make sure you pick the right equipment for the job at all times. Look after your ladders, and in turn they will look after you.
5 Top Tips for Safe Ladder Work
- Undertake a thorough risk assessment of the job before you start to check that the equipment you have selected is suitable. If used properly, ladders are a good option for low-risk, short-duration work of up to 30 minutes.
- Make sure that workers have had training on using ladders properly. They should know how to do pre-use checks, how to set the ladder up to make it safe and secure, and the ground conditions that are needed to prevent the ladder slipping. Ladders shouldn’t be placed on wet floor, mats or uneven ground.
- Label every ladder you own so that you can identify it belongs to you. Each ladder should be logged on a register, and visually inspected on a frequent basis. Check that rungs are not missing or damaged, and that rubber feet are in place. Record any defects and take ladders out of use until they are repaired, or throw them away if they can’t be fixed.
- Workers should be aware of the correct positioning to adopt when using a ladder. Look for three points of contact at all times and give staff tool belts to wear so that they can use their hands for holding on rather than carrying tools.
- Store ladders correctly so that they can’t fall over. Hang them up on racking or hooks, away from chemicals. Make sure that wooden ladders are kept away from water and damp to prevent them from rotting.
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