As part of our ongoing programme to ensure that all MSL engineers are fully up to date with H&S legislation and best work practice. We hold monthly Toolbox Talks (“TBT”), where health and safety information is discussed, and van & toolbox checks are carried out – this way ensuring, for example, ladders remain safe, electrical devices are tested regularly etc…
In September’s toolbox talks there was discussion on the following points:
Septembers TBT – Working at Height:
Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Common causes are falls from ladders and through fragile roofs. The purpose of Work at Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent death and injury from a fall from height.
We discussed in the TBT that work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. For example you are working at height if you:
- are working on a ladder or a flat roof;
- could fall through a fragile surface;
- could fall into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground.
If you would like some more information regarding working at height why not take a look at our brand new E-Learning facilities ‘Introduction to Working at Height‘ where you will recognise different types of access equipment and their use among other things.
September Ladder checks:
Defects often go unnoticed and not remedied because people don’t know what they are looking for or feel it isn’t serious enough to warrant replacement of the ladder.
Because falls from ladders often result in serious injuries, any defects that compromises the stability or integrity of a ladder should result in the ladder being taken out of use.
We advise all of our engineers that every time they use a ladder they should do a pre-use check beforehand to make sure that it is safe for use. A pre-use check should be carried out by:
- The user
- Before using the ladder for a work task
- After something has changed, ie a ladder dropped or moved from a dirty area to a clean area (check state or condition of feet)
The benefit of conducting pre-use checks is that they provide the opportunity to pick up any immediate/serious defects before they cause an accident.
1. Stiles must be in good condition as bent or split stiles could lead to collapse
2. Make sure feet are not worn, damaged, dirty or missing, or else the ladder could slip.
3. Confirm the rungs are not bent, missing or loose to keep your ladder stable
4. Make sure the locking bars work and are not bent, worn or damaged or the ladder could collapse
5. Make sure treads are not contaminated or slippery
6. Make sure platforms on stepladders aren’t split or buckled as it may lead to instability or collapse
7. Check steps on stepladders and make sure fixings aren’t loose or else the ladder may collapse
A formal inspection is then carried out every 6 months by our senior engineer – Martyn Lumb, who recently achieved his IOSH Managing Safely Certification