The Ladder Association has warned companies to put ladder training to the top of their height safety agenda after a fall led to a worker sustaining serious injuries.
Civil engineering company Lanes Group plc was found to have failed in its health and safety responsibilities and fined £500,000 with £9,896.19 in court costs, after a railway maintenance worker fell 4.3m from a ladder whilst cutting back vegetation.
The worker suffered a broken collarbone, eleven broken ribs, a punctured lung, and spent 13 days in intensive care, undergoing two major surgeries. He is now unable to return to his previous job due to his injuries.
Ladder was an inappropriate tool
An Office of Rail and Road inspection found the initial assessment of the site was inadequate, the company failed to properly plan or supervise the work, and that a ladder was an inappropriate tool for the task.
Following the ruling at Westminster Magistrates Court, the Ladder Association has urged companies and ladder users themselves to make ladder training a priority, and know when a ladder is the right solution.
Dennis Seaton, Chairman of the Association’s Training Committee, said: “There are many situations where a ladder can be the right solution, but they shouldn’t automatically be your first choice. It’s one of the main reasons we launched our ‘Get a Grip’ on ladder safety campaign with the clear message ‘When it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and get trained to use it safely.’
“We strongly believe training is an important contribution in keeping people safe when working at height and that training is about more than just using the ladder; it’s about helping people understand when it’s right to use a ladder, (and even more so in this case, when it’s not right to use a ladder), choosing the right ladder and then understanding the simple steps to use your ladder safely.
“With falls from height still one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and injuries and with businesses facing record fines for failing to keep workers safe, our campaign sets out to ensure everyone using a ladder is fully trained and competent to do so.”
A better solution
Though ladders have their place, often a ladder is entirely the wrong tool for the job, and can lead to unnecessary injury or worse. This is why we offer a range of safe, rapid access solutions for reaching the roof level.
Ideal for short duration tasks such as maintenance, repair and installation, our Easi-Dec platforms can be assembled in less than ten minutes by trained workers, and easily moved around the property as a ladder would be. Once the task is complete, the Dec can be taken down and transported on an estate car or transit van.
Easi-Dec offers all the benefits of a ladder, without the risks. For more information, call us on 01767 691812, or use our online contact form.