Accidents and injuries at work are hazards of just about any professional environment. However, it stands to reason that some pose more risks than others and the construction industry is one of the worst offenders. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that construction site injuries account for just over a third of all reported injuries at work over the course of an average year. Part of the problem is the machinery and tools involved in the work. Whilst many of these are extremely high-tech, other bits of equipment have been around for years. Step forward, the ladder.
What accidents at work are commonly caused by ladders?
The most obvious, and probably serious, workplace accident with a ladder is falling from it. Everyone has seen wince-inducing footage of one form or another that shows the tumbling ladder and painful aftermath. Objects falling from ladders can also cause serious injury to people below.
How can the threat of ladder accidents be minimised?
The HSE strongly advocates pre-use checks of ladders at work. The check should be carried out by the person intending to use the ladder, at the start of the working day and immediately following a change in circumstance, such as the ladder being moved elsewhere.
What should a safety check of a ladder include?
The first step is to check the surroundings and general condition of the ladder. It should be securely in place and never used if the stiles are bent or split.
Next, you need to check the feet of the ladder. Under no circumstances should a ladder be used if the feet are missing, worn or damaged.
Finally, you need to check the condition and stability of the rungs. Again, if they are loose or damaged then the ladder ought to be avoided.
For step-ladders, you will also need to check the locking bars, platform and steps to ensure they are all in a good, and safe working order.
What can I do if I suffer a ladder accident at work?
Should the worst happen and you suffer an injury at work, then help is at hand. Accident Advice Helpline is a law-firm with over 15 years’ experience in personal injury claims, including work accidents, car crashes and slips, trips and falls. The freephone service is available 24/7 on 0800 689 0500 and they often settle out of court so there is no need for you to attend court.
Date Published: February 12, 2014
Author: David Brown