Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

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Health and Safety – Ladder Safety

A third of all reported fall from height incidents involve ladders and stepladders, on average this accounts for 14 deaths and 1200 major injuries to workers each year. Many of these injuries are caused by inappropriate or incorrect use of equipment.

Despite these alarming statistics, most accidents are preventable. Choosing and using the right equipment, such as selecting correctly classed ladders, helps to ensure you and your colleagues work safely. Ladders that are damaged, defected or unfit for purpose could be confiscated by Inspectors - leading to a caution or even prosecution.

Below are the key aspects you should consider when using a ladder:

If working at height is essential, then it is necessary you should know:

  •  When to use a ladder
  •  Decide how to go about selecting the right sort of ladder for the particular job
  •  Understand how to use it
  •  Know how to look after it, and
  •  Take sensible safety precautions

When using a stepladder there are a number of simple checks which can be made during the set-up:

  • Daily pre-use of the condition;
  • Ensuring there is space to fully open the stepladder;
  • Use any locking devices fitted;
  • The ground should be firm and level;
  • The floors should be clean and not slippery.

When the stepladder is in use the following controls should be taken:

  • A maximum of 30 minutes in one position;
  • Only used for light work (no more than 10kg);
  • Three points of contact should be maintained (hands and feet) at the working position;
  • Not to work off the top two steps unless a handhold is available;
  • Avoid side-on working;
  • Avoid over-reaching and over-stretching.

For more information regarding ladder safety please contact Public Protection on 01656 643643 or alternatively visit for additional information and publications.

Last Updated: 09/10/2013
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