The recent case of a Yorkshire council which was fined £40,000 with costs after an employee fell from a ladder illustrates the importance of making sure all work at height is properly assessed and planned.
The council was prosecuted after an employee fell 2.4m from a ladder while descending from a porch roof which was being re-felted
The subsequent HSE investigation into the incident found the ladder was not tied and there was no edge protection in place for the porch roof. In addition, the task had not been risk assessed and decisions regarding safety and equipment were left to the workers.
Over a third of all reported fall from height incidents involve ladders and step ladders, so it’s vital that before ladders and stepladders, a risk assessment is carried out to decide whether the equipment is appropriate for the task.
Had a thorough risk assessment been carried out in this case, the Council would have identified the risks and put measures in place to ensure the work could be carried out safely.