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    HSE SAFETY NOTICE: HOOPED LADDERS AND FALL ARREST

    Reports find no evidence that hoops on ladders provide positive fall arrest

    HSE has published Safety Notice: Bulletin CCID 1-2012 to “provide context and explanation” to Research Report 657 an Investigation into the fall-arresting effectiveness of ladder safety hoops, when used in conjunction with various fall-arrest systems, published today (10 July).

    The Safety Notice indicates the following action is required:

    1. “Personal fall-arrest equipment can be used inside a hooped ladder to arrest a fall. However users should be aware of the possible limitations of such equipment and the nature of the risks it may present and should make appropriate provision as part of their risk assessment. In undertaking the risk assessment dutyholders may need to consult manufacturers or suppliers on the performance of their equipment when used in hooped ladders. Dutyholders should also consider their rescue plan and the use of climbing helmets to reduce the risk of injury from striking the hoops.
    2. HSE is not seeking to prohibit hooped ladders, to recommend the blanket removal of hoops from ladders (which would probably increase overall risk), or to prohibit the use of personal fall-arrest systems within hooped ladders. While the report concludes that hoops alone do not provide positive fall arrest capability, they may provide other safety benefits that the report does not explore.
    3. Dutyholders should carry out risk assessments to see whether work at height can be avoided or if the provision of a safer means of access is reasonably practicable. Risk assessments should take into account this latest guidance.
    4. If an existing EN 353-1:2002 guided type fall arrest system on a rigid line is present on a hooped ladder, dutyholders should consult the manufacturer or supplier regarding its effectiveness to safely arrest a fall, in respect of safety warnings in 2004 and 2007. See Safety warning: BS EN 353-1 2002 Part 1 Fall Arrest Equipment and Safety warning: HACA fixed rail vertical fall arrest system type 0529.7102.”

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