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Ladder training - can you tick the box?

Ladder training - can you tick the box?

31 July 2008 Email this article

Anthony Gower Smith a 73 year old school caretaker has successfully claimed damages against his local authority employer by demonstrating their failure to train him to correctly use a stepladder. He claimed that this failure was a major contributory factor in the injuries he sustained in a fall from a 1.8m stepladder. Mr Gower-Smith is claiming £50,000 in damages after spending time in an intensive care unit with a fractured skull, fractured cheek bone and kidney damage.Following this incident Mr Don Aers, Chairman of the Ladder Association has issued a statement highlighting the link between training and safety. He is reiterating his previous call to employers to address the training requirements when using ladders and stepladders.

“Training is the most important tool to reduce falls from height. Users expect to receive formal training on other types of access equipment such as access towers and work platforms, so why not on ladders?"

“Although it seems straightforward, it’s essential to decide if a ladder is the right piece of equipment through risk assessment. Then to choose the right type of ladder and to know how to use it safely. It’s about taking an informed, common sense approach to working at height.”

“The Ladder Association has long advocated the need for formal training to combat the potentially dangerous mentality practiced and entertained by those who rely solely on learning on the job. There is no room for this sort of complacency.”

“For uncomplicated, short duration work, ladders and stepladders remain a good option, particularly when you consider the global risk of using other types of access equipment that take much longer to erect and dismantle.”

“With an estimated two million ladders in daily use, the need for professional training has never been more pressing, which is why the association actively supports the Health & Safety Executive’s ‘Shattered Lives’ campaign.”

Can you tick the box?

For more information on ladder training please click here.