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If it's right to use a ladder, use the right ladder safely.
Nearly 100 workers every month suffer a serious injury following a fall from a ladder. The vast majority of these accidents are avoidable. You don't have to fall far to injure yourself, in fact most serious injuries happen in falls from below head height.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in co-ordination with local authorities, are currently promoting safe ladder use as part of the Shattered Lives Campaign. Inspectors will be visiting sites around the country and where they find 'dodgy' ladders in use or where they are not being used safely, they will take action.
So if your ladder's not up to the job, now's the time to get a new one.
It is always a good idea to inspect your ladder and footwear each time you use your ladder.
Check the stiles, rungs, rivets and welded joints of the ladder to make sure the ladder will not break, collapse or twist. Also check your footwear to ensure the soles of your boots or shoes are not worn or filled in. Footwear must be able to get a good grip on the rungs.
If you spot a fault, do not use the ladder. Either attempt to fix the ladder to a 'like new' standard or remove the ladder from use. This is not just good health and safety, it makes good economic sense. Faults that are noticed early are easier and cheaper to repair, plus an injury that results in time being taken off from work affects the finances of both the employer and the employee.
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