Serious fall highlights ladder safety

The importance of proper ladder safety has been highlighted after a worker fell six metres from a ladder and suffered multiple fractures to their neck, back, ribs and hip, as well as injuries to to their head and a collapsed lung.

The employee was working on converting a barge into a luxury houseboat in April 2017 but fell from a ladder at the back of the vessel, which provided unsafe access and egress from the boat. The ladder twisted and caused the worker to fall onto the dry dock.

A HSE investigation found that the contractor, TS Rigging Limited of Burnham on Crouch, Essex, had not put in place suitable and sufficient measures to prevent falls from the ladder, and had also failed to carry out a risk assessment.

TS Rigging Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £34,000 with costs of £5,917.

HSE Inspector Nikki Hughes said: “Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries, with falls from ladders being one of the most common causes.

“This incident could have been prevented if the company had implemented a safe system of work to prevent falls.”

Ladders should always be properly footed and correctly positioned to ensure the safety of anyone who uses them. We regularly blog about the importance of proper ladder safety, and recommend the use of a system such as Ladder Spurs and Ladder Stand-Off for enhanced protection.

Easi-Dec Ladder Spurs are designed to increase the base width of your ladder and prevent outward slip, and can be used with the Easi-Dec Ladder Stand Off, allowing access over obstacles such as corners and eaves.

For more information about ladder safety or any of our safe access products, call us on 01767 691812 or use our online contact form.