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A record-breaking year

Our 2023 highlights

A record-breaking year

The Ladder Association has enjoyed a record-breaking year, with particularly strong growth in LadderCard numbers from our training members.

We’re delighted to have trained over 15,300 delegates in 2023 thanks to a consistently positive year and a record-breaking November, in which 1889 delegates were trained in that month alone! That’s the highest number in a single month in the Association’s 76-year history.

Aside from the training successes, we now have 81 approved Ladder Association members flying the flag for ladder safety in 3 regions across the globe. And yes, you guessed it…that’s another recording-breaking figure as it’s the highest member count we’ve ever had!

2023 was another busy year, with some notable highlights:

  • We continued to put our weight behind our ‘Step Up to Safe Ladders’ campaign to stop the sale of unsafe imported ladders online and in store. We released a second telescopic ladder surveillance report in April, followed in September by the release of our report into testing of the ‘Top Ten’ multi hinge-joint ladders found online. The campaign is backed by our manufacturing and supplier members who continue to raise standards and bring safe products to market;
  • We pledged our support to the Access Industry Forum’s (AIF) ‘Save the Work at Height Regulations’ campaign and are pleased that the Regulations are ‘safe’, albeit the potential for reform remains without any mandatory need to consult with industry. Alongside the AIF, we’ll continue to monitor the status of this crucial legislation for preventing falls from height;
  • Following engagement with our members, we submitted evidence to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) Product Safety Review consultation to ensure any future reforms to the UK product safety regime will help protect consumers from unsafe ladders, whether they’re buying online or on the high street;
  • We were awarded funding from the OPSS to undertake consumer market research and delve deeper into telescopic ladder users’ behaviours and buying habits, particularly from online marketplaces. Headline findings were presented at our Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) in September, with the formal report due for release in early 2024;
  • Our Technical Committee carried out a thorough review of existing research and guidance on roof ladder use and have developed new guidance to make it safer for people to work on roofs. The formal report is also due for release in the New Year;
  • The Ladder Association continued to raise awareness of ladder safety, attending a number of in-person industry events including the OPSS International Conference (alongside Test & Research Centre), London Work at Height Seminar, and the North West Construction Safety Group’s (NWCSG) ‘Work at Height – Preventing Falls’ seminar in the UK. Further afield, we exhibited at the PASMA Symposium in Dubai. We also presented at the Association for Project Safety (APS) work at height webinar;
  • We welcomed our new Chairman, David Gray (TB Davies) who took over from Gail Hounslea (Ladderstore). We thank Gail for all she has achieved with the Association over her 3-year term, and very much look forward to continuing success with David at the helm;
  • We held another successful AMM in September in Leicester with some great member feedback:
    • The event received an overall rating of 4 out of 5 from attendees;
    • The CPD event scored 4.2 out of 5;
    • Product Safety Roundtables were the most popular session, scoring 4.2 out of 5;
    • 85% of attendees said they made new connections, and 100% said they learned something new by attending the event.
  • We were shortlisted for ‘Sector Representation of the Year’ at the Trade Association Forum Awards 2023. While we might not have left with an award on the night, this gives deserved recognition to our successful – and ongoing – collaborations with the OPSS and HSE on several key initiatives designed to prevent falls from height when using ladders;
  • We continued to support the No Falls Foundation, making a donation every time someone undertakes Ladder Association training, and we will be supporting their No Falls Week campaign taking place 13-17 May 2024.

Many thanks to all our members who work tirelessly to promote ladder safety across everything they do. We end the year on a record-breaking high and look forward to a successful 2024.

The Ladder Association Team