Working at height using ladders or step ladders


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  • Choosing the wrong type of access equipment resulting in falls from height.
  • Dropping of work equipment onto persons below.
  • Damaged ladders / stepladders or plastic steps resulting in falls from height.
  • Unsecured ladders
  • Ladders erected close to overhead power supplies.
  • Ladders erected so that they obstruct walkways or vehicle routes may lead to a collision causing the user to fall.
  • Falls from height
  • Objects falling from height.
  • Incorrectly erecting and dis-assembly of tower scaffolds / scaffolding leading to operatives falling or equipment falling from height onto person/s below.
  • Failure to take additional precautions when working on roofs or fragile surfaces may lead to operatives falling from height.
  • Work that imposes a side loading, such as side-on drilling through solid materials, e.g. bricks or concrete, may cause a stepladder or ladder and the user/ work materials to fall.
  • Hot / cold and wet weather
  • Falls from height while fitting / removing or cleaning guttering system parts.

It is important for all employers to have a health and safety policy in place and for those companies who employ more than 5 employees, it is a legal requirement. Make sure that you have the correct health and safety documents in the workplace and that they are not out of date.

The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 is the legislation dealing with health & safety in the workplace and is usually governed by local authorities who make the necessary checks and visits to companies to ensure that the rules and regulations of the act are complied with.

A health & safety policy should be written by someone in your place of work, preferably by someone who has taken a course in health and safety and is aware of the responsibilities. The templates you can download will help you to create a policy which is clear and easily understood by the work force.

A health & safety document usually comprises of three elements which are:

  • A statement outlining how safety procedures will be managed in the workplace.
  • How safety is to managed and who is responsible for safety procedures
  • How health & safety activities are managed.
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