Safety Ladders News Roundup – September, 2018
The team members at Safety Fabrications are determined to make sure all our readers keep up to date with important developments in the construction industry as a whole, particularly news items which deal with access equipment and health and safety in the workplace. This is why we follow the news closely and, once a month, publish a roundup of news items that are relevant to our industry.
Our first item this month is that the Ladder Association is urging ladder users and those responsible for managing the safe use of ladders to “take a fresh approach to ladder training”. Get a Grip on Ladder Safety is the Ladder Association’s latest campaign to highlight the importance of ladder training when considering safe working at height. Falls from height are still a major cause of workplace fatalities and serious injuries (accountable for 35 fatalities in 2017/2018) so this initiative aims to make sure that anybody using a ladder is fully trained and competent to do so. We’ll have more on this campaign in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for the information.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert stressing how important it is to make sure that members of the public (children in particular) cannot access and climb scaffold ladders. The HSE advocates the use of ladder guards with some recommendations on the most effective use of the equipment used to prevent such access. We will cover this topic in more detail in the coming weeks.
Next comes a cautionary tale which demonstrates clearly that employers who do not take their responsibility towards their employees seriously will regret it. A bedding company has been fined after failing to make the requisite changes after being served with not one, but two improvement notices. The company was fined £32,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 after admitting breaches and showing a “complete disregard for safety”. The company neglected to provide health and safety training for staff, telling them to use common sense instead. Moreover, the company’s warehouse staff were required to use damaged and dangerous ladders and racking, putting them at risk.
It’s come to light that an electricity pole that was blown over by strong winds recently was issued a D notice (declaring it unsafe) in 2009! The D notice meant that the pole was considered unsafe to climb and should have been replaced within two years. The collapse of the pole led to a nearby Northumberland farm suffering an electricity outage for three days. Worryingly, the farm owner claims that several poles in one of his fields were also issued D notices, adding that a pole that came down four years ago also had a D notice on it. This has led to questions about just how many electricity poles across the UK may present a hazard.