Shattered Lives - Ladder Exchange Initiative 2009 is coming soon

posted 28.08.2009
Today's recipro blog post is from a guest blogger.  Paul Martin is Health and Safety Manager for The Trustland Group, an industrial and commercial contractor based in the North West of England.  Paul writes this month about The Ladder Exchange Initiative, which all builders and contractor should be aware of.

 The HSE run an annual ladder exchange. This year the Ladder Exchange Initiative will run from 1st September until 31st December 2009.
6ft_stepladder
The Ladder Exchange Initiative is simple; if you have a ladder which is bent, broken or battered you can part exchange it for a new one at any one of the HSE’s partner outlets who are offering discounts on the sales of all ladders at very competitive rates. It also provides dutyholders with an opportunity to review pre-use checks, training, supervision and other arrangements for ladder work.
Over the last two years HSE has worked collaboratively with Local Authorities, and several partner outlets, to remove over 5,500 ‘dodgy’ ladders from the workplace. As a result of these successes, Ladder Exchange will now be an annual initiative.

During 2007/2008 58 workers died and 3623 suffered a serious injury as a result of a fall from height. Ladders remain the most common agent involved and account for more than a quarter of all reported falls from height incidents.

There are a few simple checks you can make as a user.

Every time you use a ladder you should do a pre-use check beforehand to make sure that it is safe for use.

A pre use check should be carried out by the user:

• At the beginning of the working day; and
• After something has changed i.e. ladder dropped or moved from a dirty area to a clean area

The benefit of conducting daily pre-use checks is that they provide the opportunity to pick up any immediate/serious defects before they cause an accident.

Leaning Ladder checks:

• Check the stiles; do not use the ladder if they are bent or damaged - the ladder could buckle or collapse.
 
• Check the feet; do not use the ladder if they are missing or worn or damaged - the ladder could slip.

• Check the rungs; do not use the ladder if they are bent, missing or loose - the ladder could become unstable.

Step Ladder checks:

• Check the locking bars; do not use the ladder if they are bent or the fixings are worn or damaged - the ladder could collapse.

• Check the feet; do not use the ladder if they are missing or worn or damaged - the ladder could slip.
 
• Check the stepladder platform; do not use the ladder if it is split or buckled - the ladder could become unstable or collapse.

• Check the steps or treads; do not use the ladder if they are contaminated - they could be slippery.

• Check the steps; do not use the ladder if the fixings are loose - they could collapse.

• Check the stiles; do not use the ladder if they are bent or damaged - the ladder could buckle or collapse.

Following these simple rules may save your life. For more information on the HSE’s shattered lives campaign visit their website.

Category: Business Help, health and safety