Get a Grip – on the New Ladder Safety Initiative

Get a Grip – on the New Ladder Safety Initiative

05th October 2018

In its latest bid to raise awareness of the necessity to use ladders safely, the Ladder Association is calling on those who use ladders and those responsible for managing the safe use of ladders to take a fresh approach to ladder training.

Get a Grip on Ladder Safety is a new campaign designed to put ladder training right at the top of the height safety agenda in future.  Falls from a height are still one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and fatalities (accounting for 35 deaths in 2017/2018) and this latest campaign aims to ensure that everybody using a ladder is fully trained and competent to do so. 

According to the Ladder Association, a contractor using any other piece of access equipment would automatically arrange to train their workers in the safe use of the equipment and this is just as necessary when using ladders.  By highlighting ladder safety through training, the Ladder Association wants to reinforce the message that ladders are a safe, versatile and practical solution for low risk work of height of short duration (30 minutes or so). 

The Chair of the Ladder Association’s Training Committee, Steve Booker, believes that competency and safety in the workplace hinges on thorough and consistent training, pointing out that the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is all too familiar when it comes to ladders.  He goes on to claim that this is an approach that encourages complacency, over-confidence and a potentially dangerous mentality.  Ladders are such common items, found in so many households, that most people who don’t work in the construction sector view them as fairly innocuous and don’t see the need to be trained in the proper use of an item that they’ve had in their garage or shed for years and use as and when needed.

However, the Work at Height Regulations require that everybody involved in the work is competent, so the successful completion of a Ladder Association training course and the subsequent award of a Ladder Card is a great method of demonstrating competence. 

Raising awareness of the need for training to make sure workers are safe when using ladders as access equipment is vital, especially now that prosecutions and penalties are on the increase here in the UK.

The Ladder Association has created a free Ladder Safety Pack that provides important information on the recent changes to European ladder standard EN131.  These are the most significant changes in thirty years and include the correct way to use and inspect ladders and how to obtain a Ladder Card through official Ladder Association training.  There’s more information on this on the Ladder Association’s official website.

The Ladder Association will also be promoting Get a Grip on Ladders at the UK Construction Week which is being held next week at Birmingham’s NEC from 9 – 11 October.  Tickets are free from the UK Construction Week website.