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LADDER FALL INJURY DATA REVEALS REAL IMPROVEMENT

Industry body highlights 11 per cent decline in ladder fall reported injuries

The Ladder Association (LA) has reported that for the second year running HSE data  reveal the number of injuries involving the use of ladders and stepladders has fallen from 2132 in 2007/08 to 2011 in 2008/09 and 1817 in 2009/10.

The fall comes at the time of an average overall increase of 51 per cent in the total number of falls from height reported to HSE over the same period. The figure of 1817 compares with 2631 ladder-related injuries reported to HSE in 2001/02, a drop of 31 per cent.

Recent initiatives by the Ladder Association include Don’t be a ladder lightweight, the launch of the online LadderSolve information resource and the introduction of the Ladder Advocate Scheme. The association is currently supporting the 2011 HSE Ladder Exchange, which runs until 30 November 2011.

Range of intiatives underpin improvements 

It is argued that the improvement is driven by a combination of initiatives driven by the association itself and in collaboration with other agencies, in particular HSE and the Access Industry Forum (AIF), of which it is a founder member.

Chris Ball, Chairman of the association said:

“Whatever the sceptics may say, it cannot be denied that these welcome statistics coincide with a significant increase in the number of users successfully completing a Ladder Association training course. Since the training scheme was first launched in November 2005, the year-on-year increase, after an initial exponential growth in the first few years, has been consistent at around 25 per cent for the last couple of years.

We have constantly promoted the message that if “it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and get trained to use it safely” and that message finally seems to be getting through, especially when it’s supported by campaigns like Don’t be a ladder lightweight aimed at experienced ladder users with a jaundiced view of training.

We are also the first to acknowledge that HSE’s Ladder Exchange has had a major impact in raising awareness and understanding of the need to inspect and maintain ladders and stepladders to keep them safe for use. Actively supported by the association since its launch in 2007, the campaign has helped remove thousands of ‘dodgy’ and damaged ladders from the workplace. The Ladder Exchange has proved to be an excellent example of what can be achieved when the trade body, the regulator and the industry at large work towards a common goal.

Neither can the work of the Access Industry Forum (AIF) be overlooked. Since 2004 it has provided an effective platform for the Ladder Association to address a wide and varied audience at events like the Safety & Health Expo and the IOSH Conference and Exhibition. These have all contributed to driving home the association’s message about safety and best practice.”

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