Education 267 views Sep 05, 2017
Ladders are set to get a whole lot safer

Industry estimates suggest that portable ladders are used around two million times every day and according to the Health and safety Executive account for some 40% of falls from height accidents every 12 months.

The statistics should not come as much of a surprise – everyone knows that ladders, when used improperly can be highly dangerous with up to 48,000 people a year attending A&E after a fall.

We should therefore welcome the news that a little known organisation called The Ladder Association, based in Glasgow, has worked hard to introduce new standards to make portable ladders safer.

The organisation has had massive input in ensuring that all portable ladders will now be more stable, stronger and more durable and have produced a guide to explain how new regulations will affect everyone.

The guide can be downloaded via their website and goes into detail to explain how the new standards BS EN 131will change ladders for ever in the UK and the rest of Europe. 

Greater stability is key to how new ladders will be manufactured in the future helping to reduce the main reason for ladder accidents attributed to users overreaching or not securing the ladder properly.

Studies in America have shown that 57% of fall victims were holding objects with one or both hands while climbing or descending the ladder; 30% had wet, greasy, or oily shoes; 53% of straight ladders had not been secured or braced at the bottom, and 61% had not been secured at the top.

The Ladder Association have placed particular emphasis on good training in their new guide. This supports the fact that 66% of accident victims had never been shown how to inspect ladders for defects before using them; and 73% had not been provided with written instructions on the safe use of ladders.

Whatever way you look at it – ladders continue to play an important part in just about everything we do and anything that makes using them even safer has got to be a step in the right direction.

By John Ridgeway

Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99