Ladders are often useful pieces of equipment for short-term, low risk jobs, but serious (if not fatal) accidents can occur if they are not used correctly. Take the time before starting any job to check that your ladder procedures are fit for purpose.
Tips to Ensure Ladder Jobs are Carried Out Safely
- Do a risk assessment for the task you intend to carry out that involves working at height. From looking at the risks involved, check whether a ladder is the correct piece of access equipment to use. As a general rule, ladders should be used for no more than 30 minutes duration for low risk work, perhaps in hard to reach places where other access equipment would not fit.
- Plan the work properly and include step-by-step instructions for workers to follow. Communicate to workers and contractors what jobs can be carried out on ladders, and the conditions under which they can or can’t be used – for example, preventing their use outside in windy weather.
- Train workers to use ladders safely. Make sure they know to position them correctly on the ground to ensure stability, and that they know to check the floor for contaminants such as oil first.
- Ensure workers know how to check ladders before each use, to look for any faults such as missing rungs, broken platforms or damaged feet. Make sure they are clear on how to report these ladders as faulty straight away so that the equipment can be fixed or disposed of accordingly.
- Supervise workers who use ladders and make sure they maintain three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
Contact us if you require assistance.