It's day three of Health & Safety Week already! On Monday we gave you some general ladder safety tips and yesterday we took a look at ladder user competency. Today we will be telling you about what you should check before using a ladder and will also show you an easy way of keeping track of those regular inspections.
Inspecting and maintaining your equipment can play a vital role in ensuring your safety when working at height. Before any equipment is used you should carry out pre-checks to search for any obvious ladder defects. If it is not safe to use then DO NOT USE IT.
The HSE Website states that a pre-check should be done by the user, before using the ladder and after something has changed for example, when moving the ladder to a different area the feet should be checked for damages. When carrying out a pre-check you should;
- Check the Stiles - If the stiles appear to be bent or split this could cause the ladder to collapse.
- Check the Feet - If the feet are missing, worn or damaged the risk of the ladder slipping increases.
- Check the Rungs - If the rungs are bent, missing or loose the chance of falling again increases, as the ladder can easily become unstable.
- Check Locking Bars - If you are using a stepladder you should check the locking bars and ensure that they are not bent and the fixings are not worn or damaged.
- Check the Platform - If you are using a platform stepladder you also need to check the platform for any defects, such as the platform being split or buckled.
If you notice any defects on your ladder you should not use the equipment. Put safety first and purchase new access equipment or when suitable ladder spares may be the answer. For example if your feet are damaged the Trim 2 Fit Replacement Ladder Feet may be a solution.
As well as pre-checks, regular ladder inspections should be conducted by a competent person for all work at height equipment and a detailed ladder inspection should be completed every 3 or 6 months. The ladder inspection records are legally required to be made available to a health and safety officer when required.
Ladder inspectors need to be properly trained as well as have the correct practical and theoretical knowledge, training and experience necessary. This knowledge can be obtained from our Ladder Association Ladder Users & Inspection courses which featured in our blog post yesterday. Our next course is on the 25th June and places are limited. For more details give us a call on 01204 590 232.
An easy way to keep track of your ladder inspections is with the Ladder Log Business Pack. This business pack makes it extremely easy to keep track of your ladder inspections and the A4 Inspection folder allows you to store completed checklists.
Inspecting and tagging your equipment can significantly lower the risk of ladder falls occurring and we can not stress enough how important it is.
If you have any questions or require any more information don't hesitate to contact us by calling 01204 590 232 or by sending us an email. And don't forget to check back here tomorrow for Thursday's Health & Safety Week Safety Tips.