Working at height can be extremely dangerous. In fact, it leads to the most injuries and fatalities than in any other work environment in the UK. There are various working at height safety measures that the employee, company owner, or competent person must put into place before staff can complete any work. One of the crucial safety measures is having the correct safety equipment. The list of working at height safety equipment is extensive and can be complex if you’re working on scaffolding, up roofs, or on the edges of buildings. However, working at height also starts small, so if you use ladders in your job, using them properly is essential for your safety.
So, in today’s blog, we’re looking into how to use ladders safely. We’ll be exploring the various industries and workplaces that use ladders as well as the training, testing, and inspections needed on the equipment before workers can utilise them. Additionally, we’ll explore how the team here at Altus Safety can help you out with your ladder safety and other working at height equipment.
Who Uses Ladders?
Ladders aren’t exclusively used by people typically working at a great height; they’re used in a wide variety of different industries; let’s take a look.
Warehouses. You’ll find a set of ladders in every warehouse, whether they’re step ladders to help pickers and packers find the stock they need or companionway ladders for use by maintenance staff. Warehouses can be vast in size, with a tall roof, so getting to the high shelves and roof lighting, for example, is necessary.
Painting and Decorating. You’d be rather unimpressed if you hired a decorator who only painted as far as they could reach unaided. Step ladders and straight ladders are crucial in this work environment for decorators to complete their work.
Property Maintenance. This is a broad industry that requires a variety of jobs, all needing a different type of ladder. All ladders are applicable in the property maintenance sector, from step ladders for lightbulb changing to caged access ladders for roof maintenance.
Construction. Similarly to property maintenance, the construction industry would require almost all types of working at height ladder at some point, including ladder fall arrest systems.
Different Types of Ladders
As mentioned, there isn’t just a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to ladders and working at height. As the company owner, you must look into all your options and decide which type of ladder would be the best choice for you, your staff, and your business. To help you understand your options, we’ve explained a little more about the fixed access ladders we offer here at Altus Safety.
Caged Access Ladders
Often referred to in the working from height industry as CAT Ladders, Caged Access Ladders are all-encompassing fixed access ladders that can be installed both internally and externally for safe manoeuvering up and down levels. They’re incredibly versatile, lightweight, and appropriate for a variety of uses in both commercial and industrial environments.
Fall Arrest Ladders
Fall Arrest Ladders offer complete fall protection in the form of fixed access ladders in the unfortunate event of a fall. The Fall Arrest Ladders at Altus Safety come with a built-in fall arrest system to further protect you and your workers. Additionally, we can also offer a retrofitted system to any existing ladder you may have already. We design each system completely bespoke and ensure that it provides you with complete confidence while climbing.
Companionway Ladders, also known as ship ladders, are used at heights under 3m. They are known to be safer and more practical than vertical ladders due to their sloped design. In addition, they’re favoured for their sturdy design and flexibility for use in both internal and external locations. Each one of our Companionway Ladders is fitted with an accompanying single line of handrail on each side for added protection.
Ladder Ties enable workers to work alone for short durations to complete tasks where usually two workers would be required. This is because they add an extra level of protection when used in conjunction with removable fixed access ladders.
Training, Inspections, and Testing
Although you may think they are simple to use, it’s crucial that the proper training is implemented into your workplace in order for all employees to understand how to use the different types of ladders safely. Minimising consequences through instruction and training is level eight in the Hierarchy of Control Measures: Working at Height, but this doesn’t mean it should be an afterthought.
In addition, here at Altus Safety, we provide bespoke design, supply, and installation for all your fixed access ladders. Having your ladders installed by professionals is essential for you and your workers’ safety, as it means no corners are cut, and each installation is completed correctly and to industry standard.
Once your ladders are installed, we then offer Fall Protection Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance to ensure that your equipment remains safe. If this, or any of the ladders mentioned, sounds beneficial to your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; a member of our team will be more than happy to help.