Safety Ladders News Roundup – January, 2017
Ladders and ladder safety hit the headlines on a regular basis here in Britain so we offer our readers a regular news roundup blog for ladder related news stories. Once a month, one of our blog posts deals with from the past month that deal with ladders of all types. It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here. Please join in by adding your comments on our Facebook page, tweet to us on Twitter or drop us an email if there’s anything you’d like us to cover.
First up is news that the 2016 Ladder Exchange was a success. The Ladder Exchange scheme was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2007 and is managed by the Ladder Association. The scheme enables owners of old or broken ladders to exchange them for new ones at a discounted price – this has been one of the “most effective safety campaigns ever to be introduced in the work at height sector”.
Into the realm now of “you couldn’t make it up if you tried”! Back in November, 2016, a small town in Leicestershire, Earl Shilton, took delivery of and automatic speed sign in a bid to stop cars from driving fast through the town on their way elsewhere. The sign was provided by Leicestershire Country Council following complaints from worried residents. Great idea, you may think – we need to keep our towns and villages safe for pedestrians and road users. However, in a bizarre twist, the sign still hasn’t been installed because Earl Shilton Town Council does not have the correct ladder for the job. It’s a particular type of stepladder that will enable grounds staff to work on the footway and in the highway safely and there was no local source for this type of ladder. The specialised piece of kit needed to be ordered directly from the supplier – health and safety should always come first. Hopefully, this situation has now been rectified and the people of Earl Shilton enjoy safer roads.
Over in Hull, it was a very different story. At the beginning of January this year a huge wind turbine blade was lifted into Hull city centre for the City of Culture celebrations – it’s a massive 75 metre long sculpture entitled “Blade”. The Blade rises to a height of more than 5 metres and will spend the next three months in Hull’s Queen Victoria Square. The Blade has attracted plenty of visitors and shoppers, who gaze in awe at the splendid installation and take selfies in front of it. However, the Blade has become a popular perch for pigeons and seagulls that have been “pooping” on it, meaning that it will need cleaning, particularly as a Royal visit from Prince Charles is due to take place this week. The cleaning contractor (local company, Wood’s Cleaning Services) tasked with this job are using a “reach and wash” technique in order to avoid the use of ladders or other work at height equipment. The father and son cleaning team have 60 ft. long brushes in order to reach the Blade and they use warm, de-ionised water to clean it, the same as they use when cleaning windows.