Safety Ladders News Roundup – April, 2018

Safety Ladders News Roundup – April, 2018

03rd May 2018

Ladder safety hits the headlines on a regular basis here in Britain so we offer our readers a regular news roundup blog for safety ladders.  Once a month, one of our blog posts features a range of news stories from the past month that deal with construction issues, work at height and ladders of all types.  It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here and if there are any stories we may have missed that you would like covered.  Just send us a quick email, check out our Facebook Page or Tweet to us on our Twitter account.

Our first story concerns the Beast from the East which brought widespread heavy snowfall and unseasonably low temperatures, affecting the construction industry in particular.  According to the BBC, house building slumped as a result of the adverse weather conditions, with an overall decrease of 1.6%.  With just 12 months left to negotiate Brexit, industry pundits believe it’s vital that the UK’s assets and infrastructure need to be fit for purpose in order to attract inward investment and create a strong, independent economy for the future.

The Department for Education’s apprenticeship and levy statistics show a clear downward trend in the uptake of new apprenticeships.  The statistics (published recently) cover November, 2017 and show a worrying 35% reduction which is being blamed on the lack of flexibility in the value of vouchers which large employers are able to pass down the supply chain to smaller contractors who work for them.  With only 10% of vouchers currently being passed down, there is a risk that these are not being spent on training apprentices in the key skills that are so desperately needed by the industry for the future.

The Plymouth Herald carried a report of two workers climbing over an abandoned bridge with hardly any safety equipment.  A passer-by sent it a video clearly showing one man precariously balanced on the ruins of an old swing bridge at the mouth of Hooe Lake, joined by a colleague.  Both men perched above the water, with no safety lines attached to them and neither wearing a life jacket.  At one point, the passer-by was horrified to see one of the workers taking a foot off the ladder and balancing it on a steep support joist in order to manoeuvre himself along.

Meanwhile, a Cheshire farming company has been fined after a worker sustained significant injuries resulting from a fall from a ladder.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that control measure in place for working at height were inadequate and the company failed to ensure that there was appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision.  Furthermore, the company failed to report the accident within the required time frame.  The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5826 for the breach of health and safety legislation.

On a more positive note, a woman and two small children were rescued from a blazing block of flats after fire broke out in a communal stairwell.  Emergency services were called and Huddersfield firefighters rescued the trio from a first floor window using a ladder.

Don't forget about our product which can keep employees safe, such as our fall protection post!