Health and Safety at Work
Posted May 9, 2011 | View all news
Ladder Safety A Crucial Part Of Health And Safety At Work
The emergence of health and safety at work as a key component of sound management practice has changed the face of business and industry in most of the Western world. From being an afterthought that became prominent only when there was a serious incident, to an integral part of management attention and reporting, sound health and safety practices are now recognised as a key driver of productivity, profit, morale and staff retention. Companies that neglect health and safety at work on the basis of cost often come to realise that the long-term effects of a serious incident or death are much more expensive.
Health and safety now has a huge and complex body of knowledge and scientific testing as its foundation. It is now possible for someone to specialise at university level in health and safety, and those with a passion for the subject pursue it as a career. From fairly standard subjects such as ladder safety to complex issues like air borne contaminants, the content of the subject grows each year.
One of the fundamental strengths of the health and safety industry is the wealth of statistics now available to report on accidents, incidents and “near misses” to identify the areas needing the most attention. The construction industry has long thought to be a dangerous workplace, and figures gathered over time can now confirm that.
The risk of falling from heights is one of the key areas that always causes concern. The risk of injury is two-fold i.e. the distance the worker falls before impact, and the likelihood of serious injury or death from falling onto equipment or materials. There are strict regulations set down to ensure that scaffolding, edge protection and fall arresting equipment are all available for work with a high risk of falling from heights.
For smaller jobs where a ladder is sufficient access to a work area, ladder grips provide a secure method of fastening a ladder to guttering, even in high winds. The grip is manufactured from robust metal and plastic components, is small enough to carry in the hand, and fastens onto guttering in a matter of seconds. For extra security, two grips can be used, one on each side of the ladder, making it virtually immovable. The safety features incorporated into the ladder grips can turn most ordinary ladders, including extension ladders, into safety ladders in seconds.
There are many other types of safety equipment used by the construction industry to protect the health and safety of their workers. Through improvements in equipment and work processes, worker education and ongoing research and monitoring, the industry is confident of reaching its goal of zero accidents.