We've written a lot in the past about how to work safely off ladders, but as the latest prosecution of a window installation company shows, it's clear that some companies are still failing to take even basic steps to ensuring workers are safe when working off ladders.
In the latest case, a window fitter was helping to install UPVC windows at a 3 storey house in Brightno. He was working from an unsecured ladder when it slipped sideways, causing him to fall to the ground. He was taken to hospital suffering from head injuries but died the following day.
The HSE's investigation into the incident found that the installation company failed to ensure that the work at height was adequately planned and carried out in a safe manner. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations and was fined £10,000.
The Value Of Risk Assessments
Commenting after the hearing, the HSE Inspector said that the victim's family: “have been devastated because simple steps where not taken to secure the ladder he was using." If the company had ensured a proper risk assessment was carried out, "this tragic incident could have been prevented.”
As with any form of work at height, if you're working from ladders you need to carry out a proper risk assessment of the task so that you can determine how to work safely and what equipment is needed to do this.
When it comes to ladder safety, there is a wide range of products, such as our Ladder Safety Kit, which have been designed specifically to ensure those working off ladders are safe at all times, so there really is no excuse or reason why we should still be reading about incidents such as this.