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A journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.
September 14, 2017

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Guidance

Ladder standards see biggest change ‘in quarter of a century’

The Ladder Association has published an 8-page guide detailing what it describes as ‘the most important changes to portable ladder standards since BS EN 131 was introduced’.

The guide highlights key changes for specifiers, users, and health and safety professionals, as well as managers and supervisors responsible for the safety of employees using ladders in the workplace.

Highlights include:

  • Essential information on how and when the changes will affect users
  • Advice on how to ‘shop smart’ when replacing existing ladders because they are damaged or unfit for further use
  • Details of changes to design requirements and the two new classes of ladders

Through its membership of the European standards committee for ladders, CEN TC93, the association has made a crucial contribution to the development of the new standards, which improve product strength, rigidity and durability and, most significantly, enhances safety.

The Ladder Association’s technical manager and chair of its technical committee, Don Aers, said: “The changes reflect the collective experience and expertise of many contributors over an extensive period.

“They improve ladder design and safety and are therefore to be welcomed.”

Adjusting to change

The guide also makes it clear that standards do not apply retrospectively. It gives practical advice to businesses in adjusting their purchasing policies to take account of the new standards.

It also re-emphasizes that ladders are often a sensible and practical option for low-risk and short duration tasks, and there are many situations where a ladder is the only practical option.

The guide is essential reading for anyone who uses or purchases ladders. For a free copy go to: www.ladderassociation.org.uk/en131

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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