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Ladder training - not to be laughed at

Ladder training - not to be laughed at

23 March 2012 Email this article

More workers are killed by falls from height than any other type of accident, according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive and the insurance industry. With over two million ladders in use daily throughout the UK, ladder safety must be taken seriously, as a key contender to working at height.

Why do you need ladder training?

Tried and tested, the humble ladder may be overlooked in terms of training. However, just like any other access platform - operators need to undertake training before using ladders, to avoid any potential injury.

Many users have never received any formal training in the way ladders should be selected, positioned and used. This encourages a complacent, over-confident and sometimes dangerous mentality, that can easily lead to accidents.

Users expect to receive formal training on other types of access equipment such as access towers and elevating work platforms, so why not on ladders? That’s why, as a member of the Ladder Association (LA), we’re supporting the call for more training in all aspects of ladder use, including risk assessment and inspection. You shouldn’t decide if a ladder is the right piece of equipment to use when you’re climbing up it!

Facelift states the importance of choosing the right ladder for the job and getting trained to use it safely. Possible consequences of not being fully trained in the correct use of ladders can be severe - for example, a school caretaker successfully sued his local authority employer and claimed £50,000 in damages, for it's failure to train him to use a step ladder properly.

Where to get training

You can do ladder training courses through the Ladder Association, which are a combination of theory and practice and on average last seven hours. The course will provide you with a nationally recognised certification, which is valid for five years. 

As with all working at height equipment - there's more to ladders than you may think - pre-inspection use, action if faults are found, legislation and regulations regarding working at height, potential hazards and correct ways to dispose of equipment. This course will enable you to safely use ladders and step ladders, as well as to carry out and document ladder inspections. 

More information on ladder training courses.

To promote the safety and best practice of using ladders - Facelift is giving away the Ladder Association's 'Be Ladder competent' poster. This poster emphasises the five key safety considerations of using ladders and stepladders.

Download the LA booklet on ladder training and safety.