Don't Be A Loser On A Ladder

Don't Be A Loser On A Ladder

28th May 2014

Here at Safety Fabrications we come across many instances of ladders not being used in a safe manner, despite strict regulations on ladder use here in the UK.  Several of our blog posts have highlighted instances of ladders being used incorrectly or in an unsafe manner.  If you’re looking for some amusing cases, then check out our post on the UK Ladder Association’s Idiots on Ladders competition.  While many stories on misguided ladder use can be found online, here at Safety Fabrications we’re super sensitive to incorrect ladder use and when we see a ladder being used in a cavalier manner, it just jumps out at us immediately.  We recently came across this case of a ladder being used in a dangerous manner here in the UK, which just goes to show that, despite legislation and guidelines, there’s no accounting for just how stupid some people can be.

In industries of all sorts in the UK, Health and Safety is a serious issue and legislation is constantly modified and updated in order to ensure that accidents and injuries in the workplace are kept to a minimum.  Falling from height accounts for nearly a third of fatal workplace injuries in Britain and the construction sector is responsible for most of the fall related injuries. 

A third of all falls in the UK involve the use of a ladder and most of these are deemed to be avoidable if proper ladder safety precautions are taken.  While seeing a photo on the internet of somebody being an idiot on a ladder might raise smiles and get shared around (some of these go viral), these images highlight the fact that there is still a need to raise awareness of ladder safety. 

There is so much information about the safe use of ladders available online, with free downloads of information sheets and safety advice available.  Those whose jobs involve the use of ladders (whether as a ladder user or a manager or supervisor of others who use ladders) are required to undergo appropriate ladder safety training.  Ignorance is not an excuse any more – there are even ladder safety training course available for domestic and household use of ladders.

Modern ladders sold in the UK will need to have undergone strict quality control measures and should bear the British Kitemark, the certification mark from the British Standards Institution 9BSI).  Ladders are sold in three different grades depending on their strength and durability.  Choosing the appropriate ladder for the task at hand is another essential issue when it comes to complying with health and safety standards.

Despite measures to raise awareness of the importance of ladder safety, accidents still happen.  While most of us when using a ladder don’t use it in such a blatantly dangerous manner that we end up becoming an internet meme, we may not always take adequate safety precautions every time.  It’s only by mindfully using the knowledge that we learn in safety training sessions and applying it each and every time we use a ladder or other access equipment will we see a tangible decrease in ladder injury numbers.