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Falls from ladders and how to avoid them

It’s easy to prevent most falls by following these simple steps

Author: Sharon Ensbury/04 August 2015/Categories: HEALTH & SAFETY, Safety when working at height

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At one point or another during our lives, we’ve all found ourselves on a ladder. Whether it’s while painting the house, climbing into the loft or reaching for something on a high shelf, ladders are a simple way to climb up when objects are out of reach.

However, if you spend time on a ladder as part of your working life, the risk of falls can increase, especially if basic health and safety steps aren’t implemented.

Falls from ladders can often occur due to:

  • Over-reaching from the centre of gravity.
  • Slipping on wet / dirty treads.
  • The ladder is wobbly, slips and falls.
  • The ladder is broken or damaged.
  • Fatigue.
  • Overloading.

Although, it’s easy to prevent most falls by following these simple steps:

  • Remain centred while on the ladder.
  • While on the ladder be sure to keep three points of contact. ie two feet and the knees, hips or chest.
  • Keep the rungs and treads clean and in good condition.
  • Wear non-slip footwear – if necessary clean the soles.
  • Ensure employees are fit to work at height.
  • Ensure employees are trained to use a ladder.
  • Perform a safety check before using a ladder, checking all  components are in place and in good working order.
  • Make sure the rungs are horizontal (seems obvious, but you’d be surprised)!
  • Position the ladder correctly on a firm, level surface.
  • Fasten the ladder at top and bottom.
  • Rest the top of the ladder against a firm surface.
  • Position the ladder properly, using the 1 in 4 rule for leaning ladders.
  • Only carry light materials or tools (up to 10kg).
  • Do not exceed the maximum weight capacity of the ladder.
  • Do not stay on the ladder for more than 30 minutes at one time.

    For more information about how to stay safe on ladders, read this leaflet , we also recommend you check your workplace safety requirements before commencing any work at height.

    And, if your ladders are in need of replacement, browse our multipurpose ladders, extension ladders and ladder accessories or in our online catalogue. and speak to one of our friendly sales team


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