Working at Heights Ladders

Working at Heights Ladders 

Short safety talk on working safely when working at heights using ladders.

Author: Star Refrigeration


                                                                                                            Working at Heights Ladders

A significant amount of HVACR work tasks involves equipment deliberately put out of reach and there is a regular need to use access equipment - steps, ladders, towers and scaffolding.

It is a fact that more accidents occur involving ladders than any other piece of work equipment.  This is not because they are particularly dangerous - there are just so many of them of varying age and condition.

In UK, the use of ladders is covered by the Construction (Working Places) Regulations Construction Sites) and by the Work Equipment Regulations

Ladder Rules

o Ladders must be of sound material, strong enough for the purpose and properly maintained.

o Always inspect a ladder before using it and immediately report any defect.

o Any splits, warping, decay, damage or a missing or defective rung mean that a ladder is automatically condemned. Wooden ladders must not be painted.

o Ensure that condemned ladders are immediately labelled and taken out of commission.

o Only use ladders for work of short duration and which can be safely done from a ladder, for example, work requiring only one hand and within easy reaching distance.

o Ladders must have a firm footing for each stile and if more than 3m long, must  be secured at the upper end, i.e. be lashed.  Where such lashing is not possible, securing at or near the base is necessary.  If securing at the top or bottom is not possible, a person must ‘foot’ the ladder.

o Maximum height to be reached by ladder is 9 metres unless a resting place can be provided. Any height greater than 9 metres requires a scaffold or tower to ensure a safe place of work.

o Ladders used for access to a higher level must extend at least 1.06m above the lading place unless other regulation height hand-hold is provided. 

o Ladders must be placed at a safe angle of approximately 75°.  This means; distance from base of ladder to the wall should be ¼ of the height reached by the ladder.

o Only one person should stand on a ladder at one time, except when a second person is standing on the bottom rung to ‘foot’ the ladder.

o When climbing or descending ladders, both hands are needed, so tools should be carried in a shoulder bag or even hoisted up separately.

o NEVER use metal ladders near electrical equipment.

o NEVER use a ladder in a driveway or passageway unless protected by barriers and/or with ground level assistance in constant attendance.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 12:16 PM