Following on from the 'storm of the decade', many people will be wanting to fix the damage that the high winds have caused. Our good friends at Safesite have recently written a very good article on basic ladder safety, which you can read in it's entirety here. However we though it was so good that we have reproduced the best parts below ( credit to Jason Godfrey at Safesite ) :
Is a Ladder Suitable?
As with all work at height you should carry out a risk assessment to decide whether a ladder really is the right equipment for the job.
- For example, only use a ladder or stepladder:
- in one position for a maximum of 30 minutes;
- for ‘light work’ tasks. If you need to carry anything greater than 10kg up a ladder, a manual handling risk assessment must be completed in order to justify the work;
- where a handhold is available on a ladder or step ladder;
- if you can maintain three points of contact (hands and feet).
Do not use a ladder or stepladder:
- in wet, icy or windy conditions;
- if you plus anything you are carrying exceed the load stated for the ladder;
- there is the possibility that you may need to overreach. Always keep inside the stiles with both feet on the rungs;
- if the task could unbalance you, such as drilling through brick on concrete, when you’re using a step ladder.
What Type of Ladder?
Once you are sure that a ladder is the right equipment for the work you must make sure the one you are proposing to use is suitable. Ladders have three classifications so which ladder you use will depend upon the task and load:
- EN 131: for trade and light industrial use with a static load maximum of 150kg;
- BS 2037/BS 1129 Class 1: for heavy duty and industrial use with a maximum load of 175kg;
- Class 3: for domestic use with a maximum load of 125kg. These should NEVER be used in the workplace.
Of course, where a ladder simply will not cut the mustard, that is where Easi-Dec comes into it's own. It is the ultimate access platform for domestic properties.So if you need to be working at height, but don't want to risk working from a ladder, get yourself an easi-dec. It really is the best solution out there.