Safe Exterior Maintenance

Are you working on the exterior of properties, particularly touching up paintwork or maintenance of guttering, fascia and soffits?

Maintenance related accidents are a serious cause of concern, particularly when it comes to working at height as this type of task often involves the need to use access equipment to reach the working area.  In these instances, as the following case shows, correct equipment selection and usage is essential.

A roofing and building contracting company was ordered to pay £7,000 after a decorator suffered fatal injuries falling 7ft from a ladder while decorating the outside of a house.

During the prosecution, the court heard that no scaffolding had been provided for the job and the ladder being used was a domestic ladder with a maximum safe working load of 95kg.  In addition the ladder was not tied securely and twisted while the decorator was working off it.

Following the prosecution, the HSE inspector involved in the case commented “This incident shows how seemingly simple tasks using a ladder can quickly turn into a serious incident if basic safety measures are not followed, such as securing the ladder to the building.  If ladders are used to carry out work at height, no matter how short the job, it is vital the task is carefully planned, the equipment chosen is suitably strong and can be secured and used safely. The risk of falls from ladders is well known and is a regular cause of injury and death. Safety standards are well known and suitable equipment is readily available and not prohibitively expensive.”
 

We’ve talked in previous posts about the Ladder Safety, but sometimes a traditional ladder may not be the most suitable equipment for external maintenance tasks, particularly as ladders should only be used for short duration work.

Our Platform Ladder (formerly Painter’s Mate) has been developed to enable exterior maintenance work to be carried out safety.  The Platform Ladder is a fast, lightweight personal mini access ladder which is ideal for work at heights of up to 7m.  The system comprises a secure gated platform and special detachable ladder and has been designed specifically as a temporary short duration piece of access equipment.  The product meets the HSE guidelines which state that working from ladders should be for short duration work lasting no more than 30 minutes.

Click here to read an independent review of the Platform Ladder by Peter Brett, of Tool Business + Hire Magazine