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The height of inspection
With an estimated 2 million ladders in daily to keep ladder anti-slip feet clean is of
use, the message from the Ladder Association paramount importance so that the co-efficient
is clear: if it’s right to use a ladder, use the of friction is maintained between the foot of
right ladder and get trained to use it properly. the ladder and the ground. The ladder also
The Association emphasizes five key points needs to be kept clean so that defects are not
when using ladders and stepladders:
hidden from view.
• Select the right equipment based on risk
Ropes/pulleys must be maintained in
accordance with the manufacturers’
• Make sure the work is properly planned
instructions. Wooden ladders should not be
and organised;
painted as this can hide defects. Wooden
ladders, when coated, should be coated with a
• Use the right type and classification
transparent finish – for example, varnish,
of ladder;
shellac or a clear preservative.
• Set up the ladder correctly and use
Handling and Storage
it safely;
Other points to look for include paint or dirt on
Ladders should be stored in accordance with
• Ensure it’s properly maintained and in
the ladder which may hide defects, rivets or
the manufacturers’ instructions and advice,
good condition.
screws that are missing, and welds that are
and handled with care to avoid damage to
cracked or corroded.
either the equipment or the person handling
Inspection is such a crucial component of
the equipment. When being transported, they
ladder safety, it has been chosen as a key
Detailed Inspections
need to be firmly secured and properly
theme for 2009. According to Don Aers,
Detailed inspections of work equipment, as
supported to prevent damage.
Chairman of the Ladder Association and
required by the regulations, are more in-depth
Technical Manager at the Youngman Group,
than pre-use checks and need to be carried
The Ladder Association’s 40-page Code of
maintaining ladders in good working order
out by competent persons. The aim is to
Practice covers all these points and many
more besides. The free 2009 LadderBook is
requires pre-use checks by the user, detailed
establish whether the ladder is safe for
also a useful source of information and
inspections and maintenance.
continued use, or that maintenance and
remedial work is necessary. In-depth visual
includes details of the Ladder Association’s
Pre-Use Checks
and functional inspections need to be carried
nationally recognised training scheme.
The aim of a pre-use check is to quickly
out at set intervals and formally recorded.
For more details, and information about Ladder
establish whether a ladder is safe to use there
and then. The user must carry out a pre-use
To be competent in undertaking an inspection,
Association members and how to join, please
check prior to setting up the ladder (this may
a person should know what types of defects or
only need to be done once a day for frequently
deterioration could be present; whether the
used ladders). It is a visual and functional
defect or problem found is serious enough to
check intended to enable the user to identify
prevent further use of the ladder (disposal or
obvious defects likely to prevent its safe and
repair); or if increased, interim inspections
proper use. This might include, for example,
are necessary.
stiles that are warped, cracked, bent, rotten or Maintenance
of different lengths. Or rungs that are missing, Ladders must be maintained in accordance
worn, loose or damaged. with the manufacturers’ guidelines. The need
| TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry
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