12 Mar 2010

Ladder Exchange success

Last year we informed you about the HSE's Ladder Exchange (see our previous blog for details). Below is a follow up report from the HSE thanking all involved for another successful campaign. Good to Go Safety will continue to back this initiative and we will inform you about this year's campaign once details have been announced:

 Nearly 7000 'dodgy' ladders have been surrendered in the three years the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been running the ladder exchange initiative.

HSE is now thanking all the retailers, manufacturers, trade associations and local authorities who have played their part in the campaign which gives workers the opportunity to get rid of old, damaged and broken ladders and trade them in for new ones at a discounted price.

In the most recent campaign, HSE's partners were inundated with a variety of precarious ladders with missing rungs, bent sides and ladders that are clearly not up to the job anymore.

In 2008/09 a total of 35 workers died and over 4000 employees suffered major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. Many of these incidents could be avoided by using the right equipment and taking simple precautions.

HSE is working with industry to ensure that anyone involved in working at height uses the right equipment for the job and uses it safely. Throughout the campaign HSE and local authority inspectors include ladder checks as part of their routine inspections and encourage people with faulty or damaged ladders to exchange them for new ones.

Geoffrey Podger, HSE Chief Executive personally thanked all those involved at an event at HSE's HQ in Bootle and said:

"The ladder exchange has proved a real success. We have exchanged nearly 7000 old ladders for new ones over the last three years and we are hoping to trade even more when the ladder exchange initiative returns later this year.

"If you take a chance with 'dodgy' ladders you are risking your life. Every month more than 100 people fall off a ladder at work and suffer serious injuries.  So many of these accidents are avoidable and having safe equipment makes a huge difference."

Falls from ladders account for over a quarter of all fall accidents in this country and this is sometimes down to misuse but often due to ladders not being fit for purpose.

Craig Phillips, celebrity builder and winner of TV's Big Brother launched the third phase of the campaign in September, he said:

"It is brilliant to have been involved in promoting such a worthwhile initiative to help reduce ladder accidents. From working in the building industry for over 20 years, I know how important it is to have safe and suitable equipment at all times on building sites."

Chris Ball, Chairman of the Ladder Association said:

"Over two million people work on ladders daily in the UK and we want all of those workers to work safely. We enthusiastically support the Ladder Exchange because it's an initiative, alongside training, that can really make a difference."

If you need to work at height you need to;-

  • Know when is it safe to use a ladder 
  • Decide how to select the right sort of ladder for the particular job 
  • Know how to maintain and look after it 
  • Understand how to use it
The ladder exchange is part of 'shattered lives' a wider campaign to help reduce slips, trips and falls from height in the workplace.

Businesses and organisations can get advice on how they can help prevent slips, trips and falls from height through the simple e-learning tools available at www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives

Source: www.hse.gov.uk/press/2010/hse-ladderexchange.htm
(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

Good to Go Safety offer a simple but effective solution when it comes to ladder safety. A tag is attached to each ladder and clearly displays a 'Do not Use' message until such time as an inspection has been completed and the findings inserted. A ladder check book provides a checklist for employees to work through before using the ladder, ticking off the checks on the list. The findings are then inserted into the tag to inform everyone if they are 'Good to Go' and a duplicate copy is retained for your audit trail/maintenance records.For more information visit our digital catalogue for details and to order your own ladder inspection system.

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