Working Safely With Ladders

Categories: Working At Height Tags: Ladder Safety , Legislation

There are some 15 fatal accidents and nearly 4000 major injuries work every year in the UK involving safety ladder. So what excuse would you make if an untrained employee died or was seriously injured falling from a ladder? Accidents involving safety ladders are all too common and most businesses have at least one ladder. The cause is often simple; the ladder slips or tilts at the top, or slips outwards at the base. In some cases, part of the ladder fails due to its poor condition. Gravity means you only go one way and it’s not the fall that hurts but the impact with the ground. Many companies have experience of such accidents – they happen during routine production activities, maintenance activities, building repair or cleaning work, accessing plant etc.


Workers often wonder if it is the responsibility of management to provide safety training for those who climb ladders, and the answer is YES! The current Health and safety legislation ‘The Work at Height Regulations: 2005 says:

“All those working at height need to be trained to work at height and this includes working on ladders step ladders and safety ladders.”
There’s a new Law in town…

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 Corporate manslaughter is a crime that is committed by a company in relation to a work-related death. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act will be implemented on April 6, 2008 and will affect all companies regardless of size. The new law will mean that, organisations can be prosecuted where a safety failure is the cause of work-related deaths.

Juries will consider how the fatal activity was managed or organised throughout the organisation, including any systems and processes for managing safety and how these were operated in practice.


A Duty of Care exists in respect to Working at Height and the equipment used by employees. If found guilty of work-related injury or death, an organisation could be ordered to:

‣  Pay an unlimited fine
‣ Take remedial action within a specified period
‣ Publicise full details of their conviction

Don’t take chances, get trained now!

“Now more than ever good management needs to be proactive in developing safe systems and methods of work.”

Leading Edge have developed courses suitable for all those who have a requirement to climb and work from ladders, step ladders and safety ladders. Ladders and step ladders are an essential tool within the work place. Our training is applicable for all industry sectors and places of work. The course has been carefully devised in line with the latest studies and research to address the following fundamental issues:

‣ Why accidents are happening
‣ Fundamental principals’ including a look at Ladder types and their applications
‣ Accessories currently on the market which can make ladder safer
‣ Pre use considerations including, positioning and stability
‣ Good and bad practice
‣ Golden rules for safe use of safety ladders, step ladders and ladders
‣ HSE research and good practice new requirements

The key strength of the course is its method of delivery; highly visual in nature it includes numerous illustrations and photographs. Our instructors energetically deliver the course and encourage group interaction. We have found this to be a particularly effective way for the course to be enjoyable, and more importantly to ensure the key information is retained.