Eurosafe
Fixed Ladder Inspection

Common myths associated with ladders in the workplace

Working at height using ladders is a practice that is commonly misunderstood. It is important that ladders are used correctly and in a careful manner to ensure all work at height is completed safely.

Completing work at height with ladders safely also involves ensuring all equipment used is in good working order with thorough and regular inspections using a ladder inspection checklist. In this article, we look at the most common myths associated with working at height on ladders in the workplace.

Myth: There is an HSE ban on accessing scaffolding using a ladder and you could be fined for doing so.

Fact: The HSE has not banned using ladders to access scaffolding. A ladder can be used as long as they are suitable for the task. This would include ladders such as industrial ladders of a suitable grade. Ladders should also be secured to prevent the ladder from moving and be in good working condition. To provide a secure handhold whilst workers are stepping off the ladder onto the scaffolding the ladder should extend at least one metre from the landing point.

Myth: Using staircases in the workplace constitutes as working at height.

Fact: Walking up and down permanent staircases at a place of work does not constitute as work at height.

Myth: Whilst carrying out a task on a stepladder, workers should always have both feet and at least one hand in contact with the ladder.

Fact: Tasks such as hanging wallpaper, placing items on shelves, and installing equipment such as smoke detectors will require both hands-free for short periods of time. In these circumstances, you still need to maintain three points of contact with the ladder, but this does not necessarily mean two feet and a hand. The three points of contact could be your feet and another part of your body. For example, you could use your knee or chest for stability when working with both of your hands, but you should ensure there is a handhold available before and after you finish a task.

Myth: Workers using ladders for tasks need to be formally qualified.

Fact: You do not need to be formally qualified before using a ladder at work but you do need to be trained and competent to use and inspect ladders. This is not classed as a formal qualification, but it does mean you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to use a ladder safely. People who are being trained on using a ladder but are not yet deemed as competent can still use that ladder if they are supervised by a competent person.

Fixed Ladder Inpsection
Fixed Ladder Inpsection

Ladder Inspection Checklist

Ladders are often used to complete work at height and as such fall under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (P.U.W.E.R) 1998. These regulations require the duty holder to ensure that any work equipment provided is suitable for use, and for the purpose and conditions in which it is used. The duty holder is also required to ensure the ladder is maintained in a safe condition for use so that people’s health and safety is not at risk, and it should be inspected in certain circumstances using a ladder inspection checklist to ensure that it is – and continues to be – safe for use.

For more information on ladder inspection checklists Please Visit:

Wayne Reid

For more information about Inspection & Maintenance services contact...

Wayne Reid

Inspection & Maintenance Sales Director

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