The Importance of Ladder Safety on Construction Sites
It is vital that anybody working from height has basic knowledge of ladder safety. Unfortunately, injuries relating to falls from ladders are extremely common and can also occur from relatively small heights.
Employers should have a basic knowledge of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 when allowing their workforce to use ladders and work from height.
All ladders should be designed and manufactured to the current EN131 standard only. This is the single British and European product standard covering all types of portable ladders. EN131 improved ladder safety by making ladders wider, stronger and sturdier.
Workers use ladders in various areas of work including construction, maintenance, roofing and agricultural.
Main Hazards and Causes of Accidents
Not fully extending step ladders or securing extension ladders and not having a leaning ladder at the correct 1:4 ratio.
Damaged or defective ladders can break during use.
Uneven ground can make the ladder unstable and the ladder can slip on certain materials that are not suitable.
This can make the ladder unstable and affect a worker’s balance. This usually occurs when workers carry items whilst ascending or descending ladders.
If a worker is unable to check ladders for damage and defects, then there is a high risk of falls.
Objects can be accidentally dropped whilst working at heights and can hit people below.
Some ladders could come into contact with electrical overhead lines. Aluminium ladders are good conductors and therefore could be a danger.
Unfortunately, various injuries can occur as a result of being associated with ladder hazards including fatalities, and serious brain, spinal and burns injuries. Generally speaking, the higher the ladder, the greater the risk of injury.