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Every year Programmed workers sustain injuries when people fall from ladders. Sometimes these injuries can be serious leading to surgery, long rehabilitation and in some cases permanent disability.

Ladders are our most common form of heights equipment and when we use something regularly, complacency can lead us to not treat them with the respect that they deserve.

What actions should be taken, and recommendations considered to manage the risks?

  • Select the most appropriate ladder for the task.

  • An A-frame or extension ladder may be appropriate for some tasks, but a platform ladder or mobile scaffold is safer.

  • Always check the condition of the ladder you are about to use and complete regular inspections on all ladders and enter them into ProSafe.

  • Only use non platform ladders for light work of short duration.

  • Always maintain three points of contact. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.

  • Only take small items up or down a ladder – never large or heavy items such as building materials. Only carry items that allow you to maintain three points of contact.

  • Never straddle or stand above the second tread below the top plate. When climbing down, remain facing the ladder and climb to the bottom rung before stepping off.

  • Extension ladders should be angled at a ratio of 1:4. That is, position the base of the ladder 1 metre away from the structure for every 4 metres of height. It should be secured at the top and bottom when possible, and if not, footed by a ladder securing device or a second person. It should never be set up on a slippery surface where the base can slide out

Ladder levelling devices allow ladders to be used on uneven surfaces safely without having to use dangerous packing.
There are several different ladder footing devices available that will stop a ladder slipping out at the bottom

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93- Working Safely on Ladders
Categories: Safety Bulletin