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The use of ladders and access equipment present a number of different risks to users and the public and it is important that these risks are managed correctly to reduce the potential for accident and injury.
It is therefore of utmost importance that ladder users and operatives are fully aware of how to use and handle access equipment correctly and safely.
The Health & Safety Executive, (HSE), are responsible for the regulation of the majority of risks to health and safety arising from work activity in Britain. The HSE are therefore focused on protecting people's health and safety by ensuring risks in the changing workplace are properly controlled.
With this in mind the HSE has produced a number of publications which are intended to provide guidance and information on the correct usage of ladders and access equipment. Copies of these publications in *.pdf format can be downloaded from the HSE website by using the links provided below. To access these files please right click on the download link and select Save Target As...
This document, Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders, is an HSE publication intended for employers, the self-employed and people who work from ladders. The key areas this document covers include where and when to use a ladder, how to select the correct ladder for the task in hand, prevention of ladder slippage, assessment of a ladder to ensure that it is in good condition and the importance of ensuring users are compenent and that suitable maintenance requirements are in place. It provides clear examples of do's and don'ts to demonstrate safe usage of ladders and awareness of how accidents can happen.
[ Download from hse.gov.uk; PDF:260Kb ]
The 'Toolbox Talk on Leaning Ladder and Stepladder Safety' document was aimed primarily at employers and was intended for use by employers who can deliver the Toolbox Talk to their employees who are involved in the use of ladders and stepladders. The focus of this document was to improve staff competence and knowledge by highlighting the key safety issues which should be covered in their training. This document covers three main areas which are - hazards and pre-use checks, correct positioning and safe use. This has now been replaced by the Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders document by the HSE.
The Pocket Guide of Top Tips for Ladder and Stepladder Safety highlighted the key messages contained in the above guides and covered the use of both ladders and stepladders. This guide was available in a handy pocket card format which was intended to provide an easy on the job reference for workers and ladder users as the cards could be easily carried in a shirt or jacket pocket. This has now been replaced by the Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders document by the HSE.
Safety in Window Cleaning using Portable Ladders was an HSE Information Sheet which set out practical steps which can be taken to reduce the risks involved in window cleaning using portable ladders. It focused on the choice of suitable equipment, the maintenance of equipment, common hazards, ladder stability and highlights the risks involved with working above roofs and working from flat or sloped roofs. They now provide a guide on Window Cleaning - Working at height whilst window cleaning.
Working at Height describes what an employer need to do to protect their employees from falls. A summary of the Working At Height Regulations and how they relate to ladder use can be viewed here on the Ladders & Working At Height Regulations page.
[ Download from hse.gov.uk; PDF:90Kb ]