Ladder Guards-Why All Fixed Ladders Need Ladder Guards
24th July 2019
The HSE have, on 3rd July 2019, published their annual report on “Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain” for the period 2018/19: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf. The report shows that the highest number of fatalities, by accident type, is from a fall from height.
In summary, there were 40 fatal injuries to workers caused by a fall from height, up from 35 occurring in the previous period 2017/18, and higher than the average of 36 per annum over the period 2014/15-2018/19.
Following such an increase, it is not unreasonable to expect the HSE to focus attention on the control of work at height when visiting and inspecting workplaces; taking action against those responsible for the control of such work in the event of a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
It is, therefore, essential that the responsible person – building owners, facilities managers, employers, etc. – who control work at height ensure that the work is properly planned, controlled and managed at all times.
To help prevent uncontrolled work taking place, where a fixed access ladder is installed to provide access, for example, to a roof, the responsible person should consider installing a lockable Ladderguard. A Ladderguard provides a physical barrier, helping prevent unauthorised access to a ladder, and clear information; a warning sign stating “Danger” and a prohibition sign stating; “Do not climb”.
With the Ladderguard in place, the responsible person can control access to the ladder, issuing key(s) for the lock to be removed, only to trained and competent workers and when all risks have been assessed and the work properly planned. At the end of the work the Ladderguard should be correctly locked in place and the key(s) returned to the responsible person to help prevent unauthorised access.