Safety Ladders News Roundup – November 2016

Safety Ladders News Roundup – November 2016

01st December 2016

Ladder safety is regularly in the news here in the UK so at Safety Fabrications we keep fully up to date with what’s going on in the world of ladders so that we can provide our readers with a regular news roundup blog for safety ladders.  Once a month, one of our blog posts deals with news stories from the past month that feature ladders of any kind.  It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here.  Please join in by adding your comments below the regular news roundup postings.

First up is news that the Ladder Association has issued a warning saying that despite a downward trend in the number of falls from height in the UK, there is no room for complacency.  Falls from height still remain the single biggest cause of fatalities on site and in the workplace league tables, as shown by these figures from 2015 - 2016:

Fall from height


Stuck by a moving vehicle


Struck by a moving object


Trapped by overturning


Contact with machinery


Drowning or asphyxiation



In a similar vein, a coroner has highlighted the dangers of high risk occupations after ruling that a chimney sweep who died in a fall had not used the appropriate roof ladder when working.  The chimney sweep died after sustaining fractures to his skull and jaw, as well as both arms when he fell from a roof while accessing the work of cleaning a chimney.  The sweep actually had the correct type of ladder with him on the job but, for unknown reasons, decided to access the ridge of the roof without a roof ladder.

Meanwhile, a window fitting company has been fined £10.000 after a worker fell from a ladder while helping to install double glazing to a three storey house in Brighton.  The ladder was not secured and slipped sideways, causing the worker to fall to the ground.  Despite being rushed to hospital suffering from head injuries, the man died the next day.

In a bizarre twist, the Daily Mail has reported that “dozens2 of deaths on TV and film sets are being swept under the carpet and ignored.  Apparently every year workers on both sides of the camera suffer injuries, whether from taking part in stunts or falling from ladders or being crushed by equipment and machines.  While the public gets to hear of most of the injuries to actors (as we’ve already pointed out) when it comes to those behind the cameras, there is very little information that actually gets reported to the public.  According to Kevin Boyle (an attorney in the US who has handled several injury cases in the film industry), “when the entertainment industry is involved, witnesses are very reluctant to come forward” during investigations.  People who work in the entertainment industry are typically freelancers who are afraid of retribution if they speak up or take part in an investigation and worried about how their involvement in the investigation may impact the possibility of finding work in the future.