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Ladder safety systemIdentifying practical solutions for safe working at height continues to be a challenge for lots of smaller trades businesses.

We had a really positive conversation with Ian Luke, Director of County Safety Services (CSS) Worksafe who provide fall arrest systems and advice and guidance to help to ensure safe working practices when working at heights. They have some really useful video clips of their products on their website and a solution that’s likely to meet the needs of several of our customers.

Fall from heights dangers

Falls from height are one of the most common forms of accident at work, comprising nearly 20% of all workplace injuries, according to CSS. Every year, falls result in around 5,000 cases of major injury and about 80 fatalities, usually from heights above two metres. The construction industry accounts for half of these incidents.

The annual cost to society of accidents caused by falls is estimated to be in the region of more than 300 million pounds. This comprises primarily the cost of personal suffering and loss of earnings, but also including medical costs, costs to employers, lost output and damage to equipment.

Work at height situations

There are many reasons why temporary access to a roof or high place for a short period is required, such as:

  • Roof tile and ridge inspection and repair
  • TV Aerial and satellite dish check, repair and installation
  • Chimney stack,  chimney pot, chimney cowl  inspection and minor repairs
  • Velux window and rooflight window inspection and minor repair
  • Dormer window and flat roof inspection and minor repairs

Use of ladders for quick and temporary access does create a hazardous situation where accidents can and do happen, with potentially tragic consequences. Risks include where the ladder slips, where the operative falls from the ladder, where they fall from the roof. Loss of balance while reaching or concentrating on the task, loss of grip due to carrying tools and equipment in one hand, and equipment failure, such as the ladder slipping, are just some of the dangers.

Work at height regulations 2005

A good source of information about the regulations governing this topic is the 2005 regulations on working at height. However there have been subsequent amendments so do check for latest regulations, or seek professional advice.

Further information sources include:

If this topic has raised questions or concerns please contact Acorn by phone or email and we’ll do our best to help.

Image courtesy of CSS