25 Aug 2009

Ladder Inspections - What to look for


Every time you use a ladder you should carry out a pre-use check beforehand to make sure that it is safe for use. A pre use inspection should be undertaken by the user;
  • at the beginning of the working day; and
  • after something has changed - eg. the ladder was dropped or moved from a dirty area to a clean area (check the condition of the ladder's feet).
The benefit of conducting daily pre-use checks is that they provide an opportunity to pick up any immediate/serious defects before they cause an accident.

1. Leaning ladders

  • Stiles need to be in good condition
    Do not use the ladder if they are bent or split - the ladder could collapse.
bent leaning ladder
  • Check the stiles
    Do not use the ladder if they are bent or damaged - the ladder could buckle or collapse.
bent stiles on a ladder
  • Check the feet
    Do not use the ladder if they are missing or worn or damaged - the ladder could slip.
damaged feet on a ladder


  • Check the rungs
    Do not use the ladder if they are bent, missing or loose - the ladder could become unstable.
missing rungs on a ladder


2. Step ladders pre-use checks - things to look for

  • Check the locking bars
    Do not use the ladder if they are bent or the fixings are worn or damaged - the ladder could collapse.
loose locking bars on a stepladder


  • Check the feet
    Do not use the ladder if they are missing or worn or damaged - the ladder could slip.
damaged feet on a stepladder

  • Check the stepladder platform
    Do not use the ladder if it is split or buckled - the ladder could become unstable or collapse.
split in the platform on a stepladder

  • Check the steps or treads
    Do not use the ladder if they are contaminated - they could be slippery.
  • Check the steps
    Do not use the ladder if the fixings are loose - they could collapse.
loose fixings on a stepladder

  • Check the stiles
    Do not use the ladder if they are bent or damaged - the ladder could buckle or collapse.
bent stiles on a stepladder 
 
Source:  http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/preusechecks.htm  (Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence).
Good to Go Safety provides a step by step checklist, complete with guidelines, to help ensure that your ladders are always 'good to go' before being used. A copy of all pre-use inspections is kept for future reference as part of a maintenance programme or as evidence of correct procedures, in the event of an accident. The ladder insection system is simple to use and implement within the workplace and is designed with the worker in mind - it won't take long for employees to get used to carrying out regular inspections; raising their awareness of health and safety policies; empowering them as they become valued and trusted to carry out important safety procedures; improving morale as the company is seen to be taking care of employees. For more detailed information on ladder safety and our ladder inspection systems and ladder safety kits visit the Good to Go Safety website.

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