The most common circumstance in Personal Injury cases that arise from falls from a ‘height’ is that of someone falling from a ladder. Therefore, Schedule 6 of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 deals specifically with ladders!
Have you been injured by a ‘defective’ ladder at your work place? If so, this will be a straightforward claim to deal with as ALL work equipment must be of sufficient strength and suitable for the use it is intended for. If the ladder breaks or is damaged and thus results in an accident then there will be a breach of duty on your Employer’s part.
However, have you been injured by the misuse of a ladder?
You must ensure that you fully understand how to correctly use a ladder:
- Ensure that surface on which your ladder is placed, is stable, firm and strong enough to support the ladder. The rungs/steps must remain horizontal.
- It must be stable during use.
- It the ladder is suspended, it should be secured so as to not swing or become displaced (unless it’s a flexible ladder).
- A portable ladder should be prevented from slipping by use of anti-slip devices, securing the stiles at either end or by any other effective arrangement.
- Access ladders must be long enough to protrude a sufficient distance above the place of ‘landing’.
- An interlocking or extension to the ladder must be such that it does not move whilst in use.
- Mobile ladders must be secured so as to not move when in use.
- If your ladder exceeds 9 metres in height then you should ensure that there are suitable rest platforms on the way up.
In addition to the above rules you should also be aware of the ‘3 points of contact rule’. This rule sets out that both feet and one hand must be kept in contact with the rungs of the ladder and the whole or bulk of your body should remain in limits of the ladder. Overreaching to one side is one of the most common accident scenarios so always be conscious that you are on a ladder and think very carefully before making any movements.