Ladder safety at Christmastime
The Ladder Association has launched its first Christmas campaign to help keep people safe when using ladders and stepladders over the festive period. Its five ladder facts for Christmas are:
1. Loft ladder, leaning ladder or stepladder: Use the right one for the job
2. Check it's safe: Are the treads firm, clean and in good condition?
3. Position it correctly: Make certain it's secure and won't slip
4. Don’t cut corners, deck the halls on a stepladder not a dining chair
5. Why fall for it? Never risk stretching up or overreaching.
Cameron Clow, chairman of the Ladder Association, says: “Around Christmas time people all over the country are putting Christmas decorations up, and they might be using ladders or stepladders for the first time for a long while.
“Even regular users sometimes need to be reminded of the basics, so it seemed an appropriate time for us to prompt people to start thinking about ladder safety – sooner rather than later.”
These Christmas tips, covered in more detail on the Ladder Exchange website (ladderexchange.org.uk), highlight some of the safety essentials to consider when using ladders and stepladders in the run-up to, and during, the Christmas period.
Falls from height are responsible for more deaths in the workplace than any other cause.
Among the best examples of the need for this timely reminder are the Idiots on Ladderspictures sent in to the Ladder Association’s Facebook page. The misuse going on every day shows how important the safety message can be.
FALLS FROM HEIGHT
Despite a steady decline, falls from height remain the most common kind of workplace fatality. In 2010/11, a total of 38 workers died and 4,327 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace, with a further 10,232 employees suffering an “over 3 day” injury. Many of these incidents could have been avoided by people with the right training using the correct equipment that had been properly inspected and maintained.
ABOUT THE LADDER ASSOCIATION
The United kingdom’s Ladder Association is the trade body responsible for advancing safety and best practice in the ladder industry, and oversees the delivery of national training. Formed in 1947 by leading ladder manufacturers, the Ladder Association has since expanded to welcome members from every part of the access industry, playing an integral role in promoting the highest standards of ladder design and manufacture, and advancing best practice in ladder use. With its focus on training, and its recent move to take over the Health & Safety Executive's Ladder Exchange scheme, the Association is a vibrant, forward-looking organization determined to look after the best interests of its increasingly diverse membership base and, of course, the industry at large.