Ladder accidents at work are a common occurrence. Here’s what you need to know to avoid them.

It is all too common for injuries to occur from the incorrect use of portable leaning ladders and stepladders in the workplace. Ladder accidents at work can cause significant and lasting damage, so the Ladder Association and the HSE have jointly produced new guidance.

You can download a copy of this guide here. We highly recommend you take a look, whether you’re an employee or an employer who uses ladders for work.

The guidance offers advice on the following:

  • Checking a ladder before using it.
  • Using a ladder safely.
  • The place of work where the ladder will be used.
  • How to secure a ladder.
  • Ladders used for access.
  • Condition of the equipment.

The law states that ladders can be used for work at height, when an assessment of the risk for carrying out a task has shown that using equipment offering a higher level of fall protection is not justified – because of the low risk and short duration of use, or there are existing workplace features which cannot be altered.

To use a ladder, you must be competent or, if you are being trained, you should be working under the supervision of a competent person.

Competence can be demonstrated through a combination of training, practical and theoretical knowledge, and experience. Training should be appropriate for the task, and this includes knowing:

  • How to assess the risks of using a ladder for a particular task.
  • When it is right to use a ladder (and when it is not).
  • Which type of ladder to use and how to use it.

To read more about this new guidance please take a look at this brilliant article from SHP – Safety and Health Practioner.

If you are unfortunate to have already suffered from an injury involving a ladder at work then please find out more about how to make a claim for compensation here.


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