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Ladders

There is a perception that step ladders and ladders are not allowed under health and safety law and ladder regulations – in fact they can be sensible and practical option for low-risk, short-duration tasks.

The law says that ladders can be used for work at height when a risk assessment has shown that using equipment offering a higher level of fall protection is not justified because of the low risk and short duration of use; or there are existing workplace features which cannot be altered.

If leaning ladders are being used it is recommended to use ladder ties to secure it. A ladder that is not secured or is secured incorrectly is a serious risk to the user, as well as to those in the surrounding vicinity – particularly if they are able to slip away from the wall or surface that they are resting on.

Step ladders or leaning ladders are only suitable for a limited number of short duration tasks. Other types of ladders that may be used particularly in an indoor setting for regular access are safety ladders with rails. They add another layer of protection with the rails that can protect the user from falling over from the sides.

With all ladders you should visually inspect the ladder before use – checking for any defects, are the feet missing, worn or damaged? Are the rungs or stiles bent or damaged. If you’re using a step ladder it is important to ensure the locking mechanism works properly. Do not use the ladder if you find any defects.

If the ladder has not defects you must ensure before use that it is placed on a level surface – that is clear from leaves or mud that could cause it to slip. The top of the ladder must rest against a strong surface like a brick wall – resting against plastic guttering or glass can dangerous as they can break easily.

For any task that requires repeated access it is recommended to install a fixed and permanent solution – roof access ladders with cage or hooped ladder, retractable roof ladders and fixed vertical ladders eliminate the risk associated with using leaning or step ladders. Fixed steel or aluminium ladders are secured to strong surfaces – not leaning against surfaces eliminating the risk of a ladder becoming unstable, or slipping against the surface causing injury to the user.

Sayfa Systems Payload range offer various options for roof access for regular access to roof in commercial building and warehouses. Vertical roof ladders and fixed access ladder solutions – Sayfa can also provide ladder ties to secure leaning ladders. Get in touch with our team to find out more.