The Ladder Association has welcomed the decision by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) not to change the Work at Height Regulations (WAHR) following HSE's completion of the review recommended by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt.
In particular, the association has welcomed the introduction of the HSE's revised and simplified guidance: INDG455 'Safe use of ladders and step ladders - a brief guide' (formerly INDG402 & 3). This follows HSE's conclusion that where problems existed with the application of the regulations, they arose from the misinterpretation of the regulations rather than from the regulations themselves.
The new guidance, developed in conjunction with the Ladder Association and other principal stakeholders, is unambiguous. It makes clear, subject to risk assessment, that ladders remain a sensible and practical option in the workplace - and that if it's right to use a ladder, to use the right ladder and to use it safely.
Ladder Association chairman, Cameron Clow, said: “Ladders are a versatile and invaluable piece of workplace equipment but, like all other forms of access equipment, there are some common sense rules for using them safely. It's all about sensible and proportionate management of the risks. Fortunately, we now have some straightforward, easy-to-understand guidance from the HSE that confirms and reinforces this message and, at the same time, provides advice on the often simple, but sensible, precautions that those using ladders and step ladders should take to keep safe and avoid falls from height. More often than not, these falls are caused by inappropriate or incorrect use, which is why the Ladder Association manages and delivers a national training scheme for users, supervisors and managers wanting to equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to use ladders safely and productively. Encouragingly, delegate numbers are now at an all time high.”
The HSE's new guidance and refreshed working at height web pages can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm.