A free service, offered by the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, of installing smoke alarms in people’s homes, was engulfed in a health and safety nightmare. Fire-fighters were told that they could not use stepladders when installing the smoke alarms. The example illustrates some of the more bizarre and extreme examples undertaken by local authorities in order to reduce the chances of an accident at work.
Smoke alarm installation using ladders
The local fire brigade had been forced to review its stepladder policy after it was pointed out that using stepladders, which may be more than two metres in height, could contravene the Working at Height Regulations 2005.
Sean Starbuck, regional chairman of the FBU, said: “The use of stepladders to fit smoke alarms contravenes working-at-height regulations, which were introduced by the Government. We have raised the issue, and the Health and Safety Executive has agreed that a review is needed.”
Brave fire-fighters routinely climb ladders into blazing buildings and see it more as a daily occupational hazard. Oddly the use of the telescopic ladders attached to their fire engines was not under review. Humberside Fire and Rescue service pledged to continue the service despite the setbacks
To date, no statistics have ever been published concerning how many fire-fighters have been injured as a result of using a stepladder.
The move illustrates some of the more bizarre moves undertaken in order to try and reduce the risk of work-related injury. It is often a difficult task to try and strike the correct balance between actively safeguarding the well-being of an employee, and not inhibiting them from carrying out their work.
Falls from height, such as a stepladder, are still a very serious matter. Fire-fighters are trained to deal with the most extreme of situations, and are experts when it comes to using ladders in tough circumstances. Accidents can still happen and a fall from a step ladder can result in a very serious injury.
If you’ve been injured as the result of a fall from a step ladder in your work place within the last 3 years, and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information. Our freephone lines are open 24/7 on 0800 689 0500, and a friendly and professional adviser is waiting to take your call.
Date Published: December 9, 2013
Author: David Brown