Ladder Inspections: Keeping Your Staff Safe

Posted on 4th Mar, 2014 | By Lorretta Tatham


If your staff need to use access equipment during the course of their work duties, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure that they stay safe.

Whether your employees use ladders and access equipment on a daily basis or only infrequently, you need to ensure that they – or another member of your team – are capable of carrying out a basic but thorough ladder inspection that could make the difference between safe and unsafe working conditions.

Take a look at some of our tips below on how and when to inspect your ladders.

Ladder Inspection: Before Use

Staff members should carry out a visual assessment of all ladders and access equipment before each use.

This should include the following checks:

  • Stiles: are they warped, cracked, bent, rotten or of differing lengths?
  • Rungs: are they missing, bent, worn, loose or poorly connected?
  • Feet and End Caps: are they missing or contaminated? What condition are they in?
  • Hinges: do they move freely and easily, or do they get stuck? Are they loose?
  • Tie Rods and Struts: Are they missing, bent or corroded?
  • Rope operating devices: Do they operate well? What condition are they in?
  • Rung Hooks, Locking Catches and Guide Brackets: Do they operate well? What condition are they in?
  • General: is there any twist or distortion in the ladder? Watch out for makeshift repairs, loose joints or connections, missing screws, cracked or corroded welds, missing rivets, or paint or dirt that could be hiding any defects.

Ladder Inspection: Before Ascending

The Ladder Association has coined a handy acronym to help remind ladder users of safety precautions before ascending any ladder or piece of access equipment: STEP!

SITE: Make sure the site you’re using the equipment in is stable and free of hazards
ASK: Ensure that the equipment you’re using is suited to the task at hand
QUIPMENT: Double check that the equipment itself is safe and secure
EOPLE: Is the right person doing the right task? Ensure staff are suitably trained

Ladder Inspections: Part Of Your Legal Requirements

While regular checks on your ladders and access equipment by staff in-house can help to prevent accidents and highlight equipment damage, you are still legally obliged to have regular ladder inspections by a qualified organisation.

Browns Ladders offers a specialist ladder inspection service that will help your business to fulfil its Health and Safety requirements and keep staff safe.

Since 1997, our experienced team has been carrying out ladder inspections at businesses across the UK. We are the only ladder inspection organisations in the country to offer the full package: not only can we inspect your access equipment for wear and tear, and damage, we can also repair many items on-site, leaving you to get on with managing your day-to-day operations.

Find out more about our regular ladder inspection service or contact a member of the Browns Ladders team today to discuss your needs.

How does your company keep its staff safe when using ladders? Tell us in the comments section below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

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