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.
In a sector blighted by myths and misconceptions, Get a grip on ladder safety is a major new campaign that aims to put ladder training at the top of the height safety agenda. When it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and get trained to use it safely, says the Association.
With falls from height still one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and injuries – accounting for 35 fatalities in 2017/2018* – and with businesses facing record fines for failing to keep workers safe, the campaign sets out to ensure that everyone using a ladder is fully trained and competent to do so.
A contractor using any other piece of access equipment would automatically look to train their staff, so what’s different about using ladders asks the Ladder Association? We all think we can use one says the Association, but sometimes the reality is quite different, often with potentially life-changing consequences.
By stepping up ladder safety through training, the Association aims to reinforce the message that ladders are a safe, practical and versatile solution for low risk and short duration work at height.
Comments chair of the Association’s Training Committee, Steve Booker: “Safety and competence in the workplace begins with thorough and consistent training. The saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is all too familiar where ladders are concerned.”
“It’s an attitude that encourages a complacent, over-confident and potentially dangerous mentality. That’s why we’re launching this important initiative to raise awareness of the need for training to help keep people safe when working at height with ladders.”
“The Work at Height Regulations require that everyone involved in the work is competent, so successfully completing a Ladder Association training course – and getting a LadderCard – is one way of helping to demonstrate that competence, especially now when prosecutions and penalties are on the increase.”
With this in mind, the Association has created a free Ladder Safety Pack providing vital information on the recent changes to European ladder standard EN131 – the most significant in the last 20 years – the correct way to use and inspect ladders and, most importantly, the route to obtaining a LadderCard through official Ladder Association training. Go to www.ladderassociation.org.uk/get-a-grip
The Ladder Association currently offers three training courses delivered through a network of audited and approved training centres: Ladder & Stepladder User, Ladder & Stepladder Inspection; and Working with Steps & Step Stools.
The Association will be urging all to Get a Grip on Ladder Training at Health & Safety Scotland in September and at UK Construction Week in October, 2018.