HSE recently announced some helpful advice for the safe use of ladders in their latest bulletin which we wanted to share with you .
Following an investigation into fatal accidents all users of combination ladders should ensure that they always carry out pre-use checks, follow the instructions provided and regularly check the locking mechanisms.
Due to their ease of storage and convenience, telescopic ladders have grown in popularity more recently. However, there may be a few issues with some of these products due to the number of components involved and their construction. Telescopic ladders are often recommended for a lower load this refers to the user, load and tools being used with this type of ladder this is because the stiles are prone to greater bending and the frames are also prone to bending. The chance of these issues occurring will also increase with the height of the ladder not helped but the growing number of substandard products that are being made available on the UK market. Many of these products are being imported from outside of the EU and appear to be a low cost option for consumers however, some of these have been implicated in serious accidents, including fatalities. The relevant European Standard – BS EN 131-6:2015 – provides more information on the design requirements.
All users should ensure that pre-use checks on the ladders are thorough, checking the components and operation of each and every locking mechanism (often one or two per rung) and the associated release mechanisms. The ladders should be stored well, transported carefully ensuring that they are regularly cleaned and maintained.
Trading Standards are aware of the substandard products and have been taking action.