MD Safety News

Work at Height and New Ladder Standards

Do you use Ladders and Step Ladders? 

As an Employer, you need to ensure that you can justify the use of ladders as part of a Work at Height Assessment.

You should consider:

  • Can the work at height be designed out/undertaken by another means? (e.g. from inside a building, from ground level, using UAVs, etc.).


  • How long is the planned work going to last? (as a guide ladders/step ladders should be used for no longer than 30 minutes).


  • Are there any other hazards in the area that affect the level of risk associated with the work? (e.g. overhead obstructions, power lines, cables, underground services, etc.)


  • Are environmental conditions going to affect the work at height? (e.g. weather, light levels, ground stability, etc.).


Are you aware of the new Ladder Standards that are due to be introduced? This is the new standard (EN131 Non-Professional and EN131 Professional) is to consolidate the old standards (i.e. Domestic/Class 3, EN131 Trade/Commercial and Class 1/Industrial) and deliver improvements.


The new EN131 Standards will see:


  • Dimensional changes to improve stability.


  • Increased strength test requirements.


  • New requirements for ladder durability.


  • A transitional period until December 2018.


Further and comprehensive Information can be found via the Ladder Association’s website:   Ladder Association


Other useful information from the HSE can be downloaded here:  HSE - Working at Height - A Brief Guide




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