Using Ladders & Stepladders

Using Ladders & Stepladders

May 20, 2022

The HSE have issued a safety bulletin with guidance on the use of ladders and stepladders, but why and what does this mean?

So, what’s the updated advice? The HSE recognised the danger that incorrect ladder use presents and so updated its guidance to offer a sensible, balanced approach to using ladders. The new guidance is LA455 Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders. The highlights are regarding the importance of training and guidance on different types of portable ladder such as; telescopic and combination (aka multi-purpose) ladders.

What to be aware of when purchasing ladders. Class 1 and Class 3 ladders are no longer available to buy after safety standards have been improved. However; if you either of these they can still be used.  All ladders should conform to the current EN 131 standard.

HSE Statistics to support the update. In 2021-22 there were 35 fatal injuries and 39,376 non-fatal injuries caused by falling from height.

Check your ladder before you use it Before starting a task, you should have access to user instructions from the manufacturer in case you need to refer to them. You should always carry out a ‘pre-use’ check to spot any obvious visual defects to make sure the ladder is safe to use. A pre-use check should be carried out:

  • by the user;
  • at the beginning of the working day;
  • after something has changed, for example a ladder has been dropped or moved from a dirty area to a clean area (check the state or condition of the feet)

If any defects are spotted, do not use the ladder and notify your employer.

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