School’s Out! Preventing Unauthorised Access During the Summer Holidays
A disturbing incident in March of this year resulted in a 12-year-old boy suffering life changing injuries and a construction company being fined £160,000 at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court. Two young boys managed to climb up a ladder onto the top platform of scaffolding, then climbing the uppermost ladder to a height of around 10 metres. The ladder slipped, the boy lost his grip and fell to the ground, suffering serious injuries that have resulted in him needing several operations and leaving him with no continence control and unable to walk more than a short distance. The investigation into the incident carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the security arrangements for preventing access to the scaffolding were inadequate. The boys managed to climb onto the ground level ladder by placing their feet either side of the ladder guard that did not cover the rungs of the ladder. Boys will be boys and, if access is difficult, they will often find ways around it!
This incident highlights the need for stringent measures to prevent access on construction sites and with the school holidays fast approaching, there will be plenty of children roaming the UK looking for adventure. Robust site security measures are needed to prevent access to the construction site in the first place, but it’s also necessary to ensure that access to ladders and scaffolding is prevented should the site security be breached by trespassers.
So many of our commercial and industrial buildings here in the UK feature flat roofs, often with machinery or plant located on the roof to free up space in the buildings below. This has resulted in fixed access ladders being installed in order to provide cleaning and maintenance workers with a safe means of access to the areas of the roof on which they need to work.
Any ladder guard should be specifically designed to prevent access, no matter how determined or resourceful the trespassers may be. Here at Safety Fabrications, we have designed a simple solution to prevent unauthorised access in the shape of our Anti-climb Covers – the Ascent™ Ladderguard.
The Ascent™ Ladderguard can easily and quickly be installed and removed from the ladder and can be installed with any new Ascent™ ladder or retrofitted to an existing ladder. Moreover, it fits the majority of ladders and is delivered with a hasp and keyed padlock and a selection of warning and safety signs.
As an alternative, we also supply an Ascent™ Anti-climb Ladder Hoop Cover, a two-part system designed to prevent unauthorised access either inside the hoops or external to the hoops. It features a drop-down, hinged lower loop hatch and a smooth covering over the ladder hoops and spines. Again, this can be supplied to fit the new Ascent™ ladders or can be retrofitted to existing ladders.
The long summer holidays are almost upon us so it’s vital that site supervisors and building duty-holders ensure that inquisitive and adventurous kids can’t gain access to dangerous areas.