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Topic: Machinery and equipment

procedure for using ladders
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Procedure for using ladders

Procedure for using ladders

Following recent legal changes, it’s even more important to ensure that your staff are aware of the importance of using ladders safely. So why not use our procedure to help you? It’s also a useful way of reinforcing staff training on their safe use.

Safe ladder use

Following the introduction of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR), it’s become even more important to ensure that ladders are only used when it’s safe to do so and that no short-cuts are taken. With this in mind we have created a basic Procedure for Using Ladders. Apart from setting out instructions for use, it’s a useful way of reinforcing staff training on safe use.

Ladder dos

Most of the instructions are concerned with what staff should be doing when using ladders. However, the very first one prompts them to consider if the work could be carried out by a safer method, and to only proceed if they conclude that an alternative isn’t viable. This is because WAHR require those working at height to make this assessment and to only use ladders where a safer alternative, such as scaffolding isn’t practical. Other instructions are concerned with how the ladder is set up. For example, that there should be at least three rungs extending beyond a roof’s edge and that the ladder is positioned to follow the “one out, four up” rule. Securing the ladder is important, so other instructions prompt the user to ensure that the ladder is secured both at the top and the bottom. In terms of moving around on the ladder, we have included a couple of points to remind users that they must keep their body facing the ladder at all times and to ensure that any tools are kept secure, e.g. by using a shoulder bag or belt hooks.

Ladder don’ts

The remaining six points concern unsafe working practices. Whilst they refer to obvious poor working practices, the fact that accidents still happen due to their continued adoption justifies their inclusion. They range from reminding staff not to use ladders in inclement weather or near power lines through to not overreaching whilst on the ladder or having more than one person on the ladder at any one time.


Training aid

This procedure is a valuable training aid and we advise that you confirm understanding by obtaining an individual employee’s signature on the bottom of the form. This helps cover your position should there be an accident and the employee alleges that they hadn’t received any training. It should be kept for three years.


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