Be On The Lookout For This Year’s Ladder Exchange
The major ladder manufacturers formed the Ladder Association (which was once known as the British Ladder Manufacturers’ Association, BLMA) in 1947 at that time. The Association has progressed to become a progressive and forward looking organisation that is determined to safeguard the best interests of its membership base and the industry at large. One important initiative administered by the Ladder Association is the Ladder Exchange Initiative which we covered in a blog post back in February.
The Ladder Exchange Initiative offers businesses in the UK an easy and affordable means of replacing broken, damaged or bent ladders and trade them in for safe new ladders at discount prices. Last year’s Ladder Exchange Initiative ran from 1st September to 31st December, 2013 which added an extra month compared with previous years. Since its launch in 2007, this ladder exchange scheme has succeeded in removing thousands of dodgy ladders from being used in the UK and ensuring that new, safe ladders take their places.
This year’s Ladder Exchange Initiative starts on September 1st, 2014, and the trading partners for this year will be revealed on the Ladder Exchange website soon. There will also be information available on how to trade in a ladder and tips for safe ladder use, as well as how companies can partner with the Ladder Association on this scheme. The Ladder Association also offers ladder training courses for those who work at height on a regular basis, those who use ladders occasionally and those who are responsible for inspecting ladders to ensure that they are safe to use.
The Ladder Association publishes a Code of Practice which is designed to offer users and specifiers advice on the safe and effective use of portable ladders and steps. The booklet is not intended to replace training courses but is a supplementary resource for those who have attended training courses.
With more than three million ladders estimated to be in use in the UK and although accidents have been steadily decreasing (they’ve fallen by 30% in the past 10 years), falls from a ladder are still responsible for so many injuries in the UK on an annual basis.
Ladder Association Chairman, Cameron Clow disclosed that people who only use ladders on an occasional basis (those who work in shops, offices, schools and in the health sector) are particularly at risk because the culture of safe work at height is unlikely to become ingrained as it is in the construction industry. The Ladder Association is also responsible for an annual Idiots on Ladders contest in which members of the public send in photos of ladder misuse.
If you own a business in the UK, why not check out your ladders this summer to see if they are still in good condition. If you find any ladders that are damaged or unsafe in any way, then take advantage of this year’s Ladder Exchange Initiative to ensure that you and your employees have a safe means of accessing hard to reach areas.