Whether you’re new to using ladders or you use them on a daily basis, the health and safety risks of ladder use apply to all. According to the HSE, nearly a third of all reported fall from height accidents involve ladders and step ladders. On average, this accounts for 14 deaths annually and 1200 major injuries to workers each year. The cause of these ladder-related accidents and falls? Inappropriate or incorrect ladder use. With this in mind, we’re highlighting the top safety tips when it comes to working safely with portable ladders – helping you to decrease the risk of accidents in the workplace.
Top 6 tips for safe ladder use
Carry out a risk assessment before every job
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 requires a risk assessment before any work at a height is undertaken. You’ll need to look at the task you’ll be undertaking; the site conditions; the duration of your work; risks associated with the task; and the number of people required to do the job.
Assess the ladder you intend on using before each use
There should be no visible defects to your ladder, and each ladder in your workplace should also be subject to a six-monthly safety check. We can carry out these specialist six-monthly ladder inspections here at Browns Ladders.
Don’t overload your ladder
Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum load. Only carry light materials and tools on the ladder as these too contribute to your total weight.
While working, make sure not to overreach
Using the right ladder will prevent any need to overreach. As a guideline, your navel should stay within the stiles at all times as both feet remain on the same rung, or step, throughout the task.
Don’t work from the top three rungs
Whether you’re using a portable step ladder or leaning ladder you must stay clear of the top three rungs. Working from the top three rungs decreases stability and increases risks of accidents and falls.
Portable ladders should only be used for short periods of time
All portable ladders should be used for 30 minutes max. If you need to use a ladder for a longer duration of time, make sure you take regular breaks to ensure you never use it for more than 30 minutes in one stint.
Stay safe with our Safety Training Courses
For more health and safety advice browse our Safety Training Courses. We have a huge range of courses available, the following being particularly useful for portable ladder use:
- Ladders & Steps Training Course
- Low Level Access Equipment Training Course
- Work at Height Training Course
During a Browns Ladders Safety Training Course you’ll experience a combination of theory and practice. We’ll teach you all the core safety principles, meaning you’ll leave feeling confident about using your portable ladder in a proper manner.
For more information on any of the courses listed above, or any of our Safety Training Courses, please contact us today on 01282 615517