Ladders in the Home - Don't be Complacent
We wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about this year’s annual Idiots on Ladders competition which is an initiative organised by the Ladder Association to raise awareness on how so many of us still seem to have no idea how to use a ladder safely. With falls from ladders accounting for a massive third of all fall from height incidents, promoting a sound knowledge of ladder safety in the public is essential. This is why the Idiots on Ladders competition is presented in a fun manner, posting photos sent in to its Facebook page on a regular basis. It’s essential to let people know ladder safety is not just an issue for workers in the construction industry or painters and decorators and window cleaners. Ladders are for everybody.
So many of us use ladders in a domestic setting – they are really handy items of equipment and most households have one tucked away somewhere for when it’s time to redecorate or get into the attic. Ladders used in the workplace are subjected to all manner of safety checks because employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of all employees and third parties. This duty includes putting in place a procedure to ensure that all ladders and other access equipment is inspected each time it is used. Most household ladders in the UK would not pass a health and safety test.
The Ladder Association also supports an annual initiative called the Ladder Exchange which we wrote about in a blog post a couple of months ago. This initiative aims to bring some safety to ladders the length and breadth of the UK and provides high quality, brand new ladders at an attractive discount price when an old, unsafe ladder is traded in. This Exchange service is offered to domestic householders, not just businesses and tradesmen. It’s a really great way of getting a safe, new ladder at a bargain basement price.
Although domestic ladders are not used on a daily basis as a vital piece of work equipment, the same health and safety rules apply. Householders who provides a ladder to a tradesman (or even a friend) to do a small job in the house is likely to find themselves on the wrong end of a law suit if the ladder causes an injury. Okay, you may be offering the ladder in all good faith as you use it yourself every now and again, but you’re responsible now for another person’s health and safety.
Don’t cut corners when it comes to health and safety when using ladders in the home – it’s just not worth the risk. There is no room for complacency – even a fall from a relative low height can be fatal or life-transforming. Ladders can be dangerous items of equipment when used incorrectly or when not in excellent working condition and fit for the task at hand.