Don't Miss Out on the 2015 Ladder Exchange
This year’s Ladder Exchange Initiative is already underway and will run until 31st December, 2015. It’s an initiative that was originally founded by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2007 and then taken over by the Ladder Association in 2012. The motto of the Ladder Exchange Scheme is “Don’t let a dodgy ladder shatter your life” – a powerful message to anybody who uses ladders whether in an industrial or domestic setting.
The Ladder Association provides a half day training scheme that entitles participants to carry a LadderCard and a certificate to prove completion of the training. Members of the Ladder Association include manufacturers, suppliers and training organisations throughout the UK. Membership of the Ladder Association has many benefits, including:
- Influencing the industry
- Having a voice on work at height issues
- Proving professionalism and best practice to customers and clients
- Keeping up to date with all the latest industry news
- Participation in training courses.
This year’s Ladder Exchange Initiative sees the welcome return of the annual ladder replacement programme. It means that anybody who buys, uses or has responsibility for supervising those who work on ladders can take advantage of this opportunity to replace poor quality stock with brand new ladders at a discounted price.
The Scheme aims to highlight the risks involved with using a dodgy ladder and it provides both employers and householders with the opportunity to exchange a substandard ladder (or ladders) for a new one that is safer to use. The Ladder Exchange promotes ladders as an acceptable method of working at height as long as users have carried out a risk assessment beforehand. However, according to Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the HSE, “Ladders are not banned in the workplace, so if it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and get trained to use if safely.”
This emphasis on ladder safety training is vital to ensure that those who work at height are fully informed of the risks involved and the steps that they need to take in order to make sure they work safely at all times. Although the employer is responsible for providing the right tools for the task at hand (including the right types of ladder), it’s also the responsibility of the ladder user to check the ladder before each use. The effective and responsible collaboration between employers and employees can go a long way towards reducing the risks involved when working at height.
It’s vital that ladders and stepladders are maintained in good working order. This involves carrying out the requisite pre-use checks, regular detailed inspections and routine maintenance tasks. A pre use check can rapidly establish whether or not a ladder is safe to use. Detailed inspections are more rigorous inspections that should be carried out on a regular basis in order to ensure that ladders are safe.
Despite the stringent health and safety legislation here in the UK, falls from height continue to be the main cause of death in the workplace and one of the major causes of serious injury. Around a third of all falls from height accidents result from a fall from a ladder.