Ladders are often used at work and at home to get access to higher or lower levels in order to carry out light tasks. But every year many serious injuries occur at work and at home in falls from ladders.
The PCBU in your workplace under the WHS Act has to do everything reasonably practicable to eliminate or minimise WHS risk in the workplace (section 18 WHS Act 2011) and that obviously includes risks from the use of ladders in the workplace. So HSRs and or the Health and Safety Committee in a workplace would be involved in the consultation process.
The WHS Code of Practice, Managing the Risks of Falls at Workplaces April 2016, that is available on SafeWork NSW’s website, is an excellent source of reference on the safe use of ladders. Victorian workplaces may prefer to use the publication that is on WorkSafe Victoria’s website titled, Information about Prevention of Falls – Ladders.
Both publications have helpful diagrams and pictures and cover topics such as:
Setting up a ladder safely
Using a ladder safely
Prevention of falls, and
For example both publications advise that ladders must be used on a solid and stable surface and slipping can be prevented by:
Making sure the ladder has non-slip feet
Placing single & extension ladders at a slope of four to one (both publications have a diagram about this)
Using stepladders in a fully open position
Always securing single and extension ladders at their top and bottom (both publications show how to do this)
Whether you are using a ladder at work or at home the advice in the above publications will help you to work without injury when using a ladder.