Keeping Safety Ladders Safe During Covid-19
Those who work in the construction industry have long been aware for the need for safe working practices – after all, they often work with machinery and access equipment which means that safety at work is of paramount importance.
Here at Safety Fabrications, we know our readers and customers will need to put safety first at all times whilst working. Despite our stringent health and safety regulations here in the UK, working in construction, and working at height in particular, is still the main culprit when it comes to accidents in the workplace.
In the year 2019 – 2020, there were 40 fatal injuries in the workplace in Britain and a massive 47% of these were as a result of a fall from height! If you check the figures below, you can clearly see that a fall from height is way ahead of any other accidental cause of death in the workplace:
Fall from height - 47%
Trapped by something overturning or collapsing - 16%
Struck my moving/falling/flying object - 12%
Struck by a moving vehicle` - 10%
Contact with electricity/electrical discharge - 4%
Here at Safety Fabrications, safety at work is the name of the game. Since the global Covid pandemic first struck last year, life as we know it has changed radically – not just here in the UK, but in countries around the world. Lockdown has led to workers being laid off or furloughed, with many losing their jobs completely as so many companies have gone out of business. The Covid crisis has affected all areas of life, including our work lives.
Because so much building work involves working outdoors, the construction industry is one of the few sectors able to carry on working. This is good news for construction, but the pandemic has brought with it a need for even more safety measures, besides those that are required to avoid accidents in the workplace. We now have to take steps to ensure that we don’t contract or spread the virus whilst working.
Although it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that their workers undergo the correct type of ladder safety training for the work at hand, there is an extra need to ensure that the ladder is clean. We’re not talking about washing off any spilled paint here – we have to make sure we wash away any traces of the virus!
A study carried out last year by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the coronavirus can survive on both stainless steel and plastic ladders for up to 72 hours! This means that developing a strict deep cleaning regime for ladders is necessary to keep your workers safe from contracting Covid19. The cleaning regime you choose to adopt will depend entirely on the nature of your business, there is no “one size fits all” approach here.
As an employer/business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that extra sanitation measures are adopted to safeguard the hygiene of all equipment and tools that are used by the workforce. Using a safety ladder involves hand contact, so all parts of the ladder will need to be thoroughly cleaned before each use to ensure that the virus is not being spread from one user to another.