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Ladder inspections an ‘essential aspect’ of safe working at height

HSE ladder safety

The importance of routine ladder safety checks has been highlighted after a worker in London suffered a fractured arm in a fall from a dangerous stepladder.

Iron Mountain (UK) Ltd was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £8,940 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 5, 2014.

The case followed a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the 48-year-old employee’s fall, which established that the ladder was in a poor condition and was critically weakened by a crack that eventually caused it to fail.

HSE Inspector Monica Babb said: “Ladders are often seen as an everyday item that can be taken for granted. They are not routinely checked, which is vital when it comes to identifying potential defects.

“Yet when they fail the consequences can be very serious. On this occasion a worker sustained a painful elbow injury, but it could have been much worse had he fallen from a greater height or landed in a different position.

“Iron Mountain (UK) Ltd should have inspected the step ladders it made available for staff and provided replacements. Checking ladders is an essential aspect of safely managing work at height, and I hope today’s prosecution sends a clear message to others.”

Prolift Access has a full range of new ladders for sale from its e-shop. Low prices and free delivery are available on all roof, extension and step ladders.

Prolift also runs a Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders training course. Click on the link for more information on the half-day course, or call 0845 366 4755.

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