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LADDER SAFETY INITIATIVE RELAUNCHED

TV ‘star’ launches HSE safe working with ladders campaign

Construction entrepreneur and winner of the first series of the Big Brother ‘reality’ show today gave his support to the HSE ladder safety campaign for 2009.

The campaign centres around a ‘ladder exchange’ which gives everyone the opportunity to get rid of old, damaged and broken ladders and trade them for new ones. Over 5000 ladders have been exchanged under this scheme since it first launched in 2007.

Craig Phillips said: “To be a winner in the construction industry you have to take health and safety seriously. If you take a chance with dodgy ladders you are risking your life. Every month over 100 people fall off a ladder at work and suffer serious injuries. So many of these accidents are avoidable and having safe equipment makes a huge difference. That’s why I think the ladder exchange is such a great idea”

In 2007/08 a total of 58 workers died and over 3600 employees suffered major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. Many of these incidents could be avoided by using the right equipment and taking simple precautions. HSE is working in close partnership with industry to ensure that anyone involved in working at height uses the right equipment for the job and uses it safely.

Peter Brown of HSE said: “Over the next few months, businesses will get the chance to get their ladders checked and, where necessary, trade them in for new ones at a heavily discounted price. HSE is working with Local Authorities, ladder manufacturers and retailers to address the safety issues around access equipment with employers and ladder users.”

Don Aers, Chairman of the Ladder Association said: “Over two million people work on ladders daily in the UK and we want all of those workers to work safely. We enthusiastically support the Ladder Exchange because it’s an initiative, alongside training, that can really make a difference.”

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