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Great product-The Skylark Electric Ladder

  • Date: 02 Mar 2015
  • By: Admin

Dear Mick,

 

Thanks for this confirmation, for calling this morning, and for a job well done.  I hope your business thrives and that you'll sell lots more loft ladders.  If any of my friends and acquaintances shows interest in acquiring one, I will certainly put them your way.

 

All good wishes,

 

Eva Simmons

Great product-Roberta Kleinman

  • Date: 02 Mar 2015
  • By: Admin

Your parcel was delivered a few minutes ago, and I'm happy to report the grab rail incurred no damage as a consequence of its long journey.  I will have it installed the next time my handyman is here. 
 
Please know that I will remember you and your company fondly every time I find it necessary to climb into the attic of my garage.  Thank you again for making it possible for me to continue using that space confidently. 

HSE Safe Use of Ladders and Steps

  • Date: 02 Mar 2015
  • By: Admin

Safe use of ladders and
stepladders
A brief guide

 

Ladders and stepladders are not banned under health and safety law. In fact they can be a sensible and practical option for low-risk, short duration tasks.

 Further reading Working at height safely: A brief guide Leaflet INDG401(rev2) HSE Books 2014 www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.htm Work at height web pages on the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm You can access the Work at height Access equipment Information Toolkit (WAIT) at www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/wait/index British Standards provide more information on current product standards (see ‘Further information’), eg: BS 1129 Specification for portable timber ladders, steps, trestles and lightweight stagings British Standards Institution BS 2037 Specification for portable aluminium ladders, steps, trestles and lightweight stagings British Standards Institution BS EN 131 Ladders (Specification for terms, types, functional sizes; Specification for requirements, testing, marking; User instructions; Single or multiple hinge-joint ladders) British Standards Institution Health and Safety Executive Page 7 of 7 Further information For information about health and safety, or to report inconsistencies or inaccuracies in this guidance, visit www.hse.gov.uk. You can view HSE guidance online and order priced publications from the website. HSE priced publications are also available from bookshops. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy

 

Loft Hatches Types and Standards

  • Date: 14 Apr 2014
  • By: Admin
Loft access doors details and Standards
Whether for general access to loft storage or as a maintenance hatch for roof space services, the need for access through ceilings is a requirement for most buildings. However care must be taken that these apertures do not compromise the integrity of the building envelope.
Insulated loft spaces
The increased level of thermal insulation found within the roof voids of a modern house is intended to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from the warm living spaces of the property over time.
However breaks in this insulation layer, such as the loft access door, will severely compromise its effectiveness.
Losing heat, losing money ...
A poor quality draught seal around a loft hatch or the lack of one entirely will lead to there being open gaps between the living area and the cold loft space. It is through these gaps that the air which the homeowner has paid to heat up can escape, leading to an increase in the cost of heating bills.
Heat will also radiate out of a property, upwards as the heat rises and loft insulation will reduce the amount of this heat which can escape. Areas with low levels of insulation, such as the back of loft hatches, will allow more heat to escape than the surrounding area.
This problem can be avoided by insulating the back of the loft door to the required level.
All of our loft access doors are draught sealed and insulated. The doors have a white, finely textured and easy to
Clean finish with a classic design to suit all decors.
Roof space access hatches from Manthorpe
Air leakage
Manthorpe’s GL250, GL280F and GL270F doors meet the requirements of both BS 9250:20071
and BS 5250:20112for the air leakage rate through the loft hatch and frame.
The requirement when tested to BS EN 13141-1:2004 is less than 1m³/h at a pressure difference of 2 Pa.
The doors also meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2010 Part L1A3 for the reasonable limit for the design air permeability of the building fabric, set at 10m³/(h.m²) at 50 Pa. Tested at the BRE, report numbers 283506 and 233677.
Insulation
All of Manthorpe’s loft access doors offer a variety of insulation options to meet various thermal values through the door. Ranging from a basic level of insulation, doors are available with a U-Value of 0.35W/m2K to meet the requirements of the Robust Construction
Details along with insulated options down to 0.15W/m2K for those considering the higher levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Environment
The insulation materials used have an Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) of 0 and a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of less than 5.
  1. BS 9250:2007 Design of the air tightness of ceilings in pitched roofs
  2. BS 5250:2011 Control of condensation in buildings - H.
  3. Building Regulations 2010 Part L: Conservation of fuel and power
References:
Building Regulations 2010:
Approved Document L1 and L2 Approved Document F2
Approved Document J
BS 9250:2007 Code of Practice for design of the air tightness of ceilings in pitched roofs.
BS 5250:2011 Code of Practice for Control of condensation in buildings.
DEFRA / DTLR Limiting thermal bridging and air leakage: Robust Construction Details
BS EN 13141-1:2004
BRE Thermal Insulation Avoiding Risks (BR262)
BS 476 Fire Test on Building Materials and Structures

Working at Height

  • Date: 25 Mar 2014
  • By: Admin

Working at height

Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. Common cases include falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces. ‘Work at height’ means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury (for example a fall through a fragile roof).

This section shows how employers can take simple, practical measures to reduce the risk of any of their workers falling while working at height.

What do I have to do?

You must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people with the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job. You must use the right type of equipment for working at height.

Take a sensible approach when considering precautions. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning and there may be some low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary.

Control measures

First assess the risks. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task, the duration and frequency, and the condition of the surface being worked on.

Before working at height work through these simple steps:

·         {C}avoid work at height where it’s reasonably practicable to do so

·         {C}where work at height cannot be easily avoided, prevent falls using either an existing place of work that is already safe or the right type of equipment

·         {C}minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated

For each step, always consider measures that protect everyone at risk (collective protection) before measures that only protect the individual (personal protection).

Collective protection is equipment that does not require the person working at height to act for it to be effective. Examples are permanent or temporary guardrails, scissor lifts and tower scaffolds.

Personal protection is equipment that requires the individual to act for it to be effective. An example is putting on a safety harness correctly and connecting it, with an energy-absorbing lanyard, to a suitable anchor point.

Dos and don’ts of working at height

Do….

·         {C}as much work as possible from the ground

·         {C}ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height

·         {C}ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly

·         {C}take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces

·         {C}provide protection from falling objects

·         {C}consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures

Don’t…

·         {C}overload ladders – consider the equipment or materials workers are carrying before working at height. Check the pictogram or label on the ladder for information

·         {C}overreach on ladders or stepladders

·         {C}rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces, eg glazing or plastic gutters

·         {C}use ladders or stepladders for strenuous or heavy tasks, only use them for light work of short duration (a maximum of 30 minutes at a time)

·         {C}let anyone who is not competent (who doesn’t have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job) work at height

Find out more

HSE’s work at height website provides further practical advice on how to comply with the law, and the safe use of ladders and stepladders. It also contains useful links to industry-specific guidance.

The law

Work at Height Regulations 2005

 

Safe use of Ladders and Step Ladders

  • Date: 25 Mar 2014
  • By: Admin
Health and Safety
Executive
Page 1 of 7
Introduction
This guidance is for employers on the simple, sensible precautions they should take to
keep people safe when using ladders and stepladders in the workplace. This will also
be useful for employees and their representatives.
Following this guidance is normally enough to comply with the Work at Height
Regulations 2005 (WAHR). You are free to take other action, except where the
guidance says you must do something specific.
Ladders and stepladders are not banned under health and safety law.
In fact they can be a sensible and practical option for low-risk, short-duration tasks,
although they may not automatically be your first choice. Make sure you use the right
type of ladder and you know how to use it safely.
The law calls for a sensible, proportionate approach to managing risk, and further
guidance on what you should do before deciding if a ladder is the right type of equipment
for a particular task is provided in Working at height: A brief guide (see ‘Further reading’).
References to ladders in this leaflet, unless otherwise indicated, refer to leaning
ladders (sometimes known as extension ladders) and stepladders and the guidance
applies similarly to both. More specific requirements that only apply to a leaning
ladder or a stepladder are covered in detail under the relevant headings.
When is a ladder the most suitable equipment?
The law says that ladders can be used for work at height when a risk assessment has
shown that using equipment offering a higher level of fall protection is not justified
because of the low risk and short duration of use; or there are existing workplace
features which cannot be altered.
Short duration is not the deciding factor in establishing whether use of a ladder is
acceptable or not – you should have first considered the risk. As a guide, if your task
would require staying up a leaning ladder or stepladder for more than 30 minutes at a
time, it is recommended that you consider alternative equipment.
You should only use ladders in situations where they can be used safely, eg where the
ladder will be level and stable, and where it is reasonably practicable to do so, the
ladder can be secured.
Safe use of ladders and
stepladders
A brief guide
This is a web-friendly
version of leaflet INDG455,
published 01/14
Ladders and stepladders are not banned under health and safety law.
In fact they can be a sensible and practical option for low-risk, shortduration
tasks.
Health and Safety
Executive
Safe use of ladders and stepladders Page 2 of 7
Who can use a ladder at work?
To use a ladder you need to be competent, ie have had instruction and understand
how to use the equipment safely.
Appropriate training can help. If you are being trained, you should work under the
supervision of somebody who can perform the task competently. Training can often
take place on the job.
Check your ladder before you use it
Before starting a task, you should always carry out a ‘pre-use’ check to spot any
obvious visual defects to make sure the ladder is safe to use.
A pre-use check should be carried out:
■■ by the user;
■■ at the beginning of the working day;
■■ after something has changed, eg a ladder has been dropped or moved from a
dirty area to a clean area (check the state or condition of the feet).
Check the stiles – make sure they are not bent or damaged, as the ladder could
buckle or collapse.
Check the feet – if they are missing, worn or damaged the ladder could slip. Also
check ladder feet when moving from soft/dirty ground (eg dug soil, loose sand/
stone, a dirty workshop) to a smooth, solid surface (eg paving slabs), to make sure
the foot material and not the dirt (eg soil, chippings or embedded stones) is making
contact with the ground.
Check the rungs – if they are bent, worn, missing or loose the ladder could fail.
Check any locking mechanisms – if they are bent or the fixings are worn or
damaged the ladder could collapse. Ensure any locking bars are engaged.
Check the stepladder platform – if it is split or buckled the ladder could become
unstable or collapse.
Check the steps or treads on stepladders – if they are contaminated they could
be slippery; if the fixings are loose on steps, they could collapse.
If you spot any of the above defects, don’t use the ladder and notify your employer.
Use your ladder safely
Once you have done your ‘pre-use’ check, there are simple precautions that can
minimise the risk of a fall.
Leaning ladders
When using a leaning ladder to carry out a task:
■■ only carry light materials and tools – read the manufacturers’ labels on the
ladder and assess the risks;
■■ don’t overreach – make sure your belt buckle (navel) stays within the stiles;
■■ make sure it is long enough or high enough for the task;
Health and Safety
Executive
Safe use of ladders and stepladders Page 3 of 7
■■ don’t overload it – consider workers’ weight and the equipment or
materials they are carrying before working at height. Check the pictogram
or label on the ladder for information;
■■ make sure the ladder angle is at 75° – you should use the 1 in 4 rule (ie 1
unit out for every 4 units up) – see Figure 1;
■■ always grip the ladder and face the ladder rungs while climbing or
descending – don’t slide down the stiles;
■■ don’t try to move or extend ladders while standing on the rungs;
■■ don’t work off the top three rungs, and try to make sure the ladder
extends at least 1 m (three rungs) above where you are working;
■■ don’t stand ladders on moveable objects, such as pallets, bricks, lift
trucks, tower scaffolds, excavator buckets, vans, or mobile elevating work
platforms;
■■ avoid holding items when climbing (consider using a tool belt);
■■ don’t work within 6 m horizontally of any overhead power line, unless it has
been made dead or it is protected with insulation. Use a non-conductive
ladder (eg fibreglass or timber) for any electrical work;
■■ maintain three points of contact when climbing (this means a hand and two
feet) and wherever possible at the work position – see Figures 2 and 3;
■■ where you cannot maintain a handhold, other than for a brief period (eg to
hold a nail while starting to knock it in, starting a screw etc), you will need
to take other measures to prevent a fall or reduce the consequences if one
happened;
■■ for a leaning ladder, you should secure it (eg by tying the ladder to prevent
it from slipping either outwards or sideways) and have a strong upper
resting point, ie do not rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces (eg
glazing or plastic gutters – see Figure 4);
■■ you could also use an effective stability device.
Figure 1 Ladder showing the
correct 1 in 4 angle (means of
securing omitted for clarity) 4
4
Figure 2 Correct – user
maintaining three points of
contact (means of securing
omitted for clarity)
Figure 3 Incorrect – overreaching
and not maintaining three points
of contact (means of securing
omitted for clarity)
8 4
Figure 4 Correct – use of a stand-off
device to ensure a strong resting
point. Do not rest a ladder against
weak upper surfaces such as
glazing or plastic gutters. Follow the
manufacturer’s instructions
Health and Safety
Executive
Safe use of ladders and stepladders Page 4 of 7
Stepladders
When using a stepladder to carry out a task:
■■ check all four stepladder feet are in contact with the ground and the
steps are level;
■■ only carry light materials and tools;
■■ don’t overreach;
■■ don’t stand and work on the top three steps (including a step forming the
very top of the stepladder) unless there is a suitable handhold;
■■ ensure any locking devices are engaged;
■■ try to position the stepladder to face the work activity and not side on.
However, there are occasions when a risk assessment may show it is
safer to work side on, eg in a retail stock room when you can’t engage
the stepladder locks to work face on because of space restraints in
narrow aisles, but you can fully lock it to work side on;
■■ try to avoid work that imposes a side loading, such as side-on drilling
through solid materials (eg bricks or concrete);
■■ where side-on loadings cannot be avoided, you should prevent the steps
from tipping over, eg by tying the steps. Otherwise, use a more suitable
type of access equipment;
■■ maintain three points of contact at the working position. This means two
feet and one hand, or when both hands need to be free for a brief
period, two feet and the body supported by the stepladder (see Figure 5
and associated text).
When deciding if it is safe to carry out a particular task on a stepladder
where you cannot maintain a handhold (eg to put a box on a shelf, hang
wallpaper, install a smoke detector on a ceiling), this needs to be justified,
taking into account:
■■ the height of the task;
■■ whether a handhold is still available to steady yourself before and after
the task;
■■ whether it is light work;
■■ whether it avoids side loading;
■■ whether it avoids overreaching;
■■ whether the stepladder can be tied (eg when side-on working).
What about the place of work where the ladder will be used?
As a guide, only use a ladder:
■■ on firm ground;
■■ on level ground – refer to the manufacturer’s pictograms on the side of
the ladder. Use proprietary levelling devices, not ad-hoc packing such as
bricks, blocks, timbers etc;
■■ on clean, solid surfaces (paving slabs, floors etc). These need to be clean
(no oil, moss or leaf litter) and free of loose material (sand, packaging
materials etc) so the feet can grip. Shiny floor surfaces can be slippery
even without contamination;
■■ where they will not be struck by vehicles (protect the area using suitable
barriers or cones);
Figure 5 Example where two
hands need to be free for a
brief period for light work. Keep
two feet on the same step
and the body (knees or chest)
supported by the stepladder
to maintain three points of
contact. Make sure a safe
handhold is available
4
Health and Safety
Executive
Safe use of ladders and stepladders Page 5 of 7
■■ where they will not be pushed over by other hazards such as doors or
windows, ie secure the doors (not fire exits) and windows where possible;
■■ where the general public are prevented from using it, walking underneath it
or being at risk because they are too near (use barriers, cones or, as a last
resort, a person standing guard at the base);
■■ where it has been secured.
What are the options for securing ladders?
The options are as follows:
■■ tie the ladder to a suitable point, making sure both stiles are tied, see
Figures 6, 7 and 8;
■■ where this is not practical, secure with an effective ladder stability device;
■■ if this is not possible, then securely wedge the ladder, eg wedge the stiles
against a wall;
■■ if you can’t achieve any of these options, foot the ladder. Footing is the last
resort. Avoid it, where ‘reasonably practicable’, by using other access
equipment.
What about ladders used for access?
In general:
■■ ladders used to access another level should be tied (see Figure 9) and
extend at least 1 m above the landing point to provide a secure handhold.
At ladder access points, a self-closing gate is recommended;
■■ stepladders should not be used to access another level, unless they have
been specifically designed for this.
Figure 6 Correct – ladder tied at top
stiles (correct for working on,
but not for gaining access to a
working platform/roof etc)
4
4 Figure 7 Correct – tying part way
down
Figure 8 Correct – tying near
4 the base
Figure 9 Correct – access ladders
should be tied and extend at least
1 m above the landing point to
provide a secure handhold
4
Health and Safety
Executive
Safe use of ladders and stepladders Page 6 of 7
What about the condition of the equipment?
Employers need to make sure that any ladder or stepladder is both suitable for the
work task and in a safe condition before use. As a guide, only use ladders or
stepladders that:
■■ have no visible defects. They should have a pre-use check each working day;
■■ have an up-to-date record of the detailed visual inspections carried out regularly
by a competent person. These should be done in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions. Ladders that are part of a scaffold system still have
to be inspected every seven days as part of the scaffold inspection requirements;
■■ are suitable for the intended use, ie are strong and robust enough for the job.
HSE recommends British Standard (BS) Class 1 ‘Industrial’ or BS EN 131
ladders for use at work (see ‘Further reading’);
■■ have been maintained and stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
A detailed visual inspection is similar to ‘pre-use’ checks’, in that it is used to spot
defects. It can be done in-house by a competent person (pre-use checks should be
part of a user’s training) and detailed visual inspections should be recorded.
When doing an inspection, look for:
■■ twisted, bent or dented stiles;
■■ cracked, worn, bent or loose rungs;
■■ missing or damaged tie rods;
■■ cracked or damaged welded joints, loose rivets or damaged stays.
Make pre-use checks and inspect ladder stability devices and other accessories in
accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Further reading
Working at height safely: A brief guide Leaflet INDG401(rev2) HSE Books 2014
www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.htm
Work at height web pages on the HSE website:
www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm
You can access the Work at height Access equipment Information Toolkit (WAIT)
at www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/wait/index
British Standards provide more information on current product standards
(see ‘Further information’), eg:
BS 1129 Specification for portable timber ladders, steps, trestles and lightweight
stagings British Standards Institution
BS 2037 Specification for portable aluminium ladders, steps, trestles and
lightweight stagings British Standards Institution
BS EN 131 Ladders (Specification for terms, types, functional sizes; Specification
for requirements, testing, marking; User instructions; Single or multiple hinge-joint
ladders) British Standards Institution
Health and Safety
Executive
Page 7 of 7
Further information
For information about health and safety, or to report inconsistencies or inaccuracies
in this guidance, visit www.hse.gov.uk. You can view HSE guidance online and
order priced publications from the website. HSE priced publications are also
available from bookshops.
British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from
BSI: http://shop.bsigroup.com or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hard
copies only Tel: 0845 086 9001 email: [email protected]
This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance
is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action.
But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with
the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and
may refer to this guidance.
This leaflet is available at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg455.htm.
© Crown copyright If you wish to reuse this information visit
www.hse.gov.uk/copyright.htm for details. First published 01/14.

Working at Height-A Brief Guide

  • Date: 25 Mar 2014
  • By: Admin
Health and Safety
Executive
Page 1 of 7
Introduction
This brief guide describes what you, as an employer, need to do to protect your
employees from falls from height. It will also be useful to employees and their
representatives.
Following this guidance is normally enough to comply with the Work at Height
Regulations 2005 (WAHR). You are free to take other action, except where the
guidance says you must do something specific.
Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major
injuries. Common causes are falls from ladders and through fragile roofs. The
purpose of WAHR is to prevent death and injury from a fall from height.
Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in
place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. For example
you are working at height if you:
■■ are working on a ladder or a flat roof;
■■ could fall through a fragile surface;
■■ could fall into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground.
Take a sensible approach when considering precautions for work at height. There
may be some low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular
precautions are necessary and the law recognises this.
There is a common misconception that ladders and stepladders are banned, but this
is not the case. There are many situations where a ladder is the most suitable
equipment for working at height.
Before working at height you must work through these simple steps:
■■ avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so;
■■ where work at height cannot be avoided, prevent falls using either an existing
place of work that is already safe or the right type of equipment;
■■ minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of
equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated.
Figure 1 gives further guidance and examples for each of the above steps to help
you comply with the law.
You should:
■■ do as much work as possible from the ground;
■■ ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height;
■■ ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained
and checked regularly;
Working at height
A brief guide
This is a web-friendly
version of leaflet
INDG401(rev2),
published 01/14
Health and Safety
Executive
Working at height Page 2 of 7
■■ make sure you don’t overload or overreach when working at height;
■■ take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces;
■■ provide protection from falling objects;
■■ consider your emergency evacuation and rescue procedures.
Who do the Regulations apply to?
If you are an employer or you control work at height (for example if you are a
contractor or a factory owner), the Regulations apply to you.
How do you comply with these Regulations?
Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work
is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes
using the right type of equipment for working at height.
Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to
planning. Employers and those in control must first assess the risks. See the risk
assessment website for more advice at www.hse.gov.uk/risk/risk-assessment.htm.
Take a sensible, pragmatic approach when considering precautions for work at
height. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task; the duration and
frequency; and the condition of the surface being worked on. There will also be
certain low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions
are necessary.
How do you decide if someone is ‘competent’ to work at height?
You should make sure that people with sufficient skills, knowledge and experience
are employed to perform the task, or, if they are being trained, that they work under
the supervision of somebody competent to do it.
In the case of low-risk, short duration tasks (short duration means tasks that take
less than 30 minutes) involving ladders, competence requirements may be no more
than making sure employees receive instruction on how to use the equipment
safely (eg how to tie a ladder properly) and appropriate training. Training often takes
place on the job, it does not always take place in a classroom.
When a more technical level of competence is required, for example drawing up a plan
for assembling a complex scaffold, existing training and certification schemes drawn up
by trade associations and industry is one way to help demonstrate competence.
What measures should you take to help protect people?
Always consider measures that protect everyone who is at risk (collective protection)
before measures that protect only the individual (personal protection).
Collective protection is equipment that does not require the person working at
height to act to be effective, for example a permanent or temporary guard rail.
Personal protection is equipment that requires the individual to act to be effective.
An example is putting on a safety harness correctly and connecting it, via an
energy-absorbing lanyard, to a suitable anchor point.
Health and Safety
Executive
Working at height Page 3 of 7
The step-by-step diagram in Figure 1 should be used alongside all other advice in
this leaflet. You do not always need to implement every measure in Figure 1. For
example when working on a fully boarded and guarded scaffold that is already up,
not being altered or taken down, workers would not need to wear personal fallarrest
equipment as well.
What are the most common causes of accidents when
working at height?
Roof work is high risk and falls from roofs, through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights
are one of the most common causes of workplace death and serious injury. As well
as in construction, these accidents can also occur on roofs of factories, warehouses
and farm buildings when roof repair work or cleaning is being carried out.
The following are likely to be fragile:
■■ roof lights;
■■ liner panels on built-up sheeted roofs;
■■ non-reinforced fibre cement sheets;
■■ corroded metal sheets;
■■ glass (including wired glass);
■■ rotted chipboard;
■■ slates and tiles.
Fragile roof accidents are preventable and information on safe working practices
can be found in the HSE information sheet Fragile roofs: Safe working practices
(see ‘Further reading’).
What do you need to consider when planning work at height?
The following are all requirements in law that you need to consider when planning
and undertaking work at height. You must:
■■ take account of weather conditions that could compromise worker safety;
■■ check that the place (eg a roof) where work at height is to be undertaken is
safe. Each place where people will work at height needs to be checked every
time, before use;
■■ stop materials or objects from falling or, if it is not reasonably practicable to
prevent objects falling, take suitable and sufficient measures to make sure no
one can be injured, eg use exclusion zones to keep people away or mesh on
scaffold to stop materials such as bricks falling off;
■■ store materials and objects safely so they won’t cause injury if they are
disturbed or collapse;
■■ plan for emergencies and rescue, eg agree a set procedure for evacuation.
Think about foreseeable situations and make sure employees know the
emergency procedures. Don’t just rely entirely on the emergency services for
rescue in your plan.
For each step, consider what is reasonably practicable and use ‘collective protection’ before ‘personal protection’
Figure 1 Step-by-step diagram
Do as much work as possible
from the ground.
Some practical examples include:
■ using extendable tools from
ground level to remove the need
to climb a ladder
■ installing cables at ground level
■ lowering a lighting mast to
ground level
■ ground level assembly of edge
protection
You can do this by:
■ using an existing place of work
that is already safe, eg a nonfragile
roof with a permanent
perimeter guard rail or, if not
■ using work equipment to prevent
people from falling
Some practical examples of
collective protection when using an
existing place of work:
■ a concrete flat roof with existing edge
protection, or guarded mezzanine
floor, or plant or machinery with fixed
guard rails around it
Some practical examples of
collective protection using work
equipment to prevent a fall:
■ mobile elevating work platforms
(MEWPs) such as scissor lifts
■ tower scaffolds
■ scaffolds
An example of personal protection
using work equipment to prevent a fall:
■ using a work restraint (travel
restriction) system that prevents a
worker getting into a fall position
If the risk of a person falling remains,
you must take sufficient measures to
minimise the distance and/or
consequences of a fall.
Practical examples of collective
protection using work equipment to
minimise the distance and
consequences of a fall:
■ safety nets and soft landing systems,
eg air bags, installed close to the
level of the work
An example of personal protection
used to minimise the distance and
consequences of a fall:
■ industrial rope access, eg working
on a building façade
■ fall-arrest system using a high
anchor point
Using ladders and stepladders
For tasks of low risk and short
duration, ladders and stepladders
can be a sensible and practical
option.
If your risk assessment determines it
is correct to use a ladder, you should
further MINIMISE the risk by making
sure workers:
■ use the right type of ladder for
the job
■ are competent (you can provide
adequate training and/or
supervision to help)
■ use the equipment provided
safely and follow a safe system of
work
■ are fully aware of the risks and
measures to help control them
Follow HSE guidance on safe use
of ladders and stepladders at
www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/
index.htm
Can you AVOID working
at height in the first place?
If NO, go to PREVENT
Can you MINIMISE
the distance and/or
consequences of a fall?
Can you PREVENT a
fall from occurring?
If NO, go to MINIMISE
Health and Safety
Executive
Working at height Page 5 of 7
How do you select the right equipment to use for a job?
When selecting equipment for work at height, employers must:
■■ provide the most suitable equipment appropriate for the work (use Figure 1 to
help you decide);
■■ take account of factors such as:
■■ the working conditions (eg weather);
■■ the nature, frequency and duration of the work;
■■ the risks to the safety of everyone where the work equipment will be used.
If you are still unsure which type of equipment to use, once you have considered
the risks, the Work at height Access equipment Information Toolkit (or WAIT) is a
free online resource that offers possible solutions. It provides details of common
types of equipment used for work at height. HSE has also produced a guide on the
safe use of ladders and stepladders (see ‘Further reading’).
How do you make sure the equipment itself is in good condition?
Work equipment, for example scaffolding, needs to be assembled or installed
according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in keeping with industry guidelines.
Where the safety of the work equipment depends on how it has been installed or
assembled, an employer should ensure it is not used until it has been inspected in that
position by a competent person.
A competent person is someone who has the necessary skills, experience and
knowledge to manage health and safety. Guidance on appointing a competent person
can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/competence.
Any equipment exposed to conditions that may cause it to deteriorate, and result in a
dangerous situation, should be inspected at suitable intervals appropriate to the
environment and use. Do an inspection every time something happens that may affect
the safety or stability of the equipment, eg adverse weather, accidental damage.
You are required to keep a record of any inspection for types of work equipment
including: guard rails, toe-boards, barriers or similar collective means of protection;
working platforms (any platform used as a place of work or as a means of getting to
and from work, eg a gangway) that are fixed (eg a scaffold around a building) or
mobile (eg a mobile elevated working platform (MEWP) or scaffold tower); or a ladder.
Any working platform used for construction work and from which a person could fall
more than 2 metres must be inspected:
■■ after assembly in any position;
■■ after any event liable to have affected its stability;
■■ at intervals not exceeding seven days.
Where it is a mobile platform, a new inspection and report is not required every
time it is moved to a new location on the same site.
You must also ensure that before you use any equipment, such as a MEWP, which
has come from another business or rental company, it is accompanied by an
indication (clear to everyone involved) when the last thorough examination has been
carried out.
Health and Safety
Executive
Working at height Page 6 of 7
What must employees do?
Employees have general legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and
others who may be affected by their actions, and to co-operate with their employer
to enable their health and safety duties and requirements to be complied with.
For an employee, or those working under someone else’s control, the law says they must:
■■ report any safety hazard they identify to their employer;
■■ use the equipment and safety devices supplied or given to them properly, in
accordance with any training and instructions (unless they think that would be
unsafe, in which case they should seek further instructions before continuing).
You must consult your employees (either directly or via safety representatives), in good
time, on health and safety matters. Issues you must consult employees on include:
■■ risks arising from their work;
■■ proposals to manage and/or control these risks;
■■ the best ways of providing information and training.
Employers can ask employees and their representatives what they think the
hazards are, as they may notice things that are not obvious and may have some
good, practical ideas on how to control the risks. See the worker
involvement website for more information on consulting employees
(www.hse.gov.uk/involvement).
What must architects and building designers do?
When planning new-build or refurbishment projects, architects and designers
have duties under The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations, to
consider the need for work to be carried out at height over the lifespan of a
building, eg to clean, maintain and repair it. They should design out the need to
work at height if possible.
Health and Safety
Executive
Page 7 of 7
Further reading
HSE’s website provides more advice, guidance and answers to frequently asked
questions. Industries and trade associations have produced guidance about
working at height for specific jobs or for using certain types of access equipment.
Find out more at www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm
You can access the Work at height Access equipment Information Toolkit (WAIT)
at www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/wait/index.htm
Using ladders and stepladders safely: A brief guide Leaflet INDG455 HSE Books
2014 www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg455.htm
Health and safety in roof work HSG33 (Fourth edition) HSE Books 2012
ISBN 978 0 7176 6527 3 www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg33.htm
Further guidance on risk assessment can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/risk
Further information about CDM and design requirements can be found at
www.hse.gov.uk/construction/cdm.htm
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 SI 2005/735 The Stationery Office 2005
www.legislation.gov.uk
Fragile roofs: Safe working practices General Information Sheet GEIS5 HSE Books
2012 www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis5.htm
Further information
For information about health and safety, or to report inconsistencies or inaccuracies
in this guidance, visit www.hse.gov.uk. You can view HSE guidance online and
order priced publications from the website. HSE priced publications are also
available from bookshops.
This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance
is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action.
But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with
the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and
may refer to this guidance.
This leaflet is available at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.htm.
© Crown copyright If you wish to reuse this information visit
www.hse.gov.uk/copyright.htm for details. First published 01/14.

BSI Ladders and Access Equipment safety Guidelines

  • Date: 21 Mar 2014
  • By: Admin
Ladders and Access Equipment Safety Standards

It is vital that access equipment from ladders, mobile access towers to timber access boards are capable of supporting the correct loads in line with its intended use.

In the UK, portable access equipment should comply with the appropriate specification such as BS 2037 covering aluminium ladders, steps, trestles and lightweight stagings or BS EN 131 covering ladders and step ladders constructed from aluminium, steel, plastics or timber, BS 1129 for timber ladders, step ladders, trestles and lightweight stagings, BS EN 1004 for mobile access towers, BS EN 14975 for loft ladders, BS EN 14183 for step stools orPAS 250 for low-level work platforms.

The HSE recommend that all portable ladders and step ladders on construction sites meet the requirements of BS 2037 Class 1 or BS EN 131.

BSI offers Kitemark certification on all of these standards. Rigorous testing includes rung, stile and component connection strength, drop testing on loft ladder hinges, overall deflection of mobile access towers and stability of low level work platforms. Testing can be undertaken both at our testing facilities and/or at the manufacturer’s premises. Our testing can also involve working closely with clients, testing new products at the developmental stage.

List of standards for ladders and access equipment:

BS 1129
Portable timber ladders, steps, trestles and stagings

BS 2037
Portable aluminium ladders, steps and trestles     

BS EN 131
Ladders

BS EN 14975
Loft ladders. Requirements, marking and testing

BS 2482
Timber scaffold boards

BS EN 1004
Mobile access and working towers made of prefabricated materials

BS EN 14183
Step stools

PAS 250
Low-level work platforms with one working platform and side protection for use by one person with a maximum working height of less than 2.5m

There are so many types of Loft Ladders

  • Date: 20 Mar 2014
  • By: Admin

There are so many types of loft ladders on the market, so when it comes to choosing the right one for you it is undoubtedly hard to make the right decision. Below is a list of the four most common types of loft ladders available and the two most common build materials, with a little bit of unbiased guidance and information about each type.

Types of Loft Ladders - Telescopic 

Telescopic loft ladders are growing faster in popularity than any other form of loft ladder. These are most suited to buildings which have high ceilings, as the telescopic design allows for a high ladder which does not compromise it's stability. A telescopic ladder also works perfectly when space around the loft hatch is very restricted, as these generally sit on top of the loft hatch when in the retracted position. Many of these ladders also have a motorised version available, for this option it is advised that a professional installs the ladder to ensure correct installation and safety.

Types of Loft Ladders - Concertina  

Concertina loft ladders are very similar to the telescopic ladders above. They are perfectly suited to small loft hatches and loft spaces with limited usable area around te hatch. If you are going to be accessing your loft space on a regular basis, then the concertina loft ladder may be the best option for you as it is easy and quick to use.  

Types of Loft Ladders - Sliding

Sliding loft ladders are currently the most common type of loft ladder in use. Although they are not being sold in as large quantities as the telescopic type mentioned above, many houses are still using them. Sliding loft ladders are usually built in 2 or 3 sections which nest together and then slide into your roof space. These are the most cost effective method of gaining access to your roof space as they are the most simple design and attach directly to the joists in your roof, with hinges which should be supplied. These loft ladders can be built in either wood or aluminium. The wooden option is the most expensive choice but it is the most aesthetically pleasing option. Wooden loft ladders are also a warmer option, as they do not feel so cold after long periods of storage in a loft space. Aluminium sliding ladders are the cheapest type available, they are very light weight but will be colder to the touch and slightly noisier to use in comparison to the wooden alternative.

Types of Loft Ladders - Folding 

Folding loft ladders are great for people who wish to store larger items in their roof space, such as suitcases. In some circumstances it may be necessary to increase the size of your existing loft hatch to accommodate a folding loft ladder. With folding loft ladders you do have the option to purchase a pre-built loft hatch, which incorporates the ladder. One important fact to note is that aluminium folding loft ladders may flex slightly when in use, some people find this unnerving and choose to have the more solid wooden type.

Material of Loft Ladder - Aluminium 

Aluminium loft ladders are both lightweight and robust, making them perfect for fast and easy operation when lowering and raising into a loft space. Most loft ladders that are constructed from aluminium come in either two or three 'sliding' or 'folding' sections to make them more compact. Aluminium loft ladders are slightly more noisy than the traditional wooden loft ladders but with prices starting at around £30 they offer fantastic value for money. 

Material of Loft Ladder - Wooden

 

Wooden loft ladders have the advantage of being more sturdy and better to look at than aluminium ladders. They offer a much nicer feel and an added bonus of not being so cold on your hands when they are pulled down from your cold roof space. Wooden loft ladders are typically quieter and smoother to operate and are the ideal choice when access to the loft is required on a regular basis, quiet operation is required or the ladders are left on show for long periods of time.

 

A Guide to Choosing Loft Ladders

  • Date: 20 Mar 2014
  • By: Motivo

Buying a loft ladder makes access to the extra storage space in your loft much easier and a whole lot safer. The ladder that you buy is going to depend on your personal preference, the space available and how often you are going to use them. They range from a basic aluminum ladder through to space saving concertina and deluxe timber folding ladders to automatic electric ladders and custom designed loft and access ladders.

Remember:  a loft ladder can usually only be used if you are using your loft as storage space. An inhabitable room will need a permanent staircase fitted that complies with relevant building regulations.

Main Types of Loft Ladder

In essence there are two main types of loft ladder, sliding and folding, which can be made in two materials, metal or timber. Most metal ladders are aluminum, although heavier duty ladders tend to be made from steel. 

Sliding Ladders

By far the easiest ladders to fit and use are the sliding variety. They are usually attached to the joists inside your loft and usually come as two or three section ladders. Most modern homes in the UK will have a loft opening big enough to meet the minimum sizes specified, or will easily be able to extend it to fit.

They don't usually come with a loft hatch supplied but can come with a kit that allows you to convert your existing hatch into a hinged hatch.

Budget sliding ladders are made of lightweight aluminum and are really designed for minimal, light usage. They are a lot noisier to use than the more 'deluxe' timber versions but do a straightforward job for a decent price.

There are two variants to the sliding model.

The first is the
Concertina Loft Ladder. These ladders are excellent space savers requiring virtually no clearance or storage space in your loft and have small landing space requirements. This does come at a price however. Cheap budget concertina ladders are truly awful things. Because they require so much engineering they cannot be manufactured cheaply, when they are they are horrible ladders to install and use.

The truth is that we have stopped selling budget versions of these ladders. Our concertina ladders are either the incredible Dimes ladders made in Italy or heavy duty, almost industrial quality, ladders made in the UK. The ladders by comparison to other loft ladders are expensive but we have had nothing but glowing reports back from our customers.

A new addition to the sliding ladders category is the hugely impressive Telescopic Loft Ladder Range. These
Telescopic Ladders have the same space saving qualities of concertina ladders married to a minimalist design aesthetic. These ladders are the perfect balance of form and function. They look fantastic and can fit in ridiculously tight spaces. The main benefit though is the price as the simpler design makes for a better value ladder.

Timber sliding ladders by contrast tend to be quieter, feel more secure and have spring actions which offer a smooth controlled closing and opening action. They are of course a bit more expensive but can come in a range of timber types and finishes to give a luxurious overall feel. Perfect if you plan to use the ladders frequently and have them on show.

Most come with handrails as standard, or as options, and deeper tread dimensions making them ideal for safely carrying boxes into the loft.

Folding Ladders

The second type of ladder is the folding style of loft ladder. They are fairly straightforward to use. The unit simply folds up, usually in two or three sections which end up stacked on top of each other on the loft hatch once fully closed.

By far the most popular, and practical option is the timber folding ladder. As before timber ladders tend to be quieter and smoother to operate than aluminum ladders and they feel more secure and robust.

Aluminum folding ladders can 'bend' or 'flex' as you stand on them which is entirely meant but can be disconcerting for some people.

Good quality timber loft ladders usually come with a 'frame' and a loft hatch attached ready to be installed in your loft opening. They will have locks which hold the ladder either in a closed or locked position and are usually 'sprung' to make them easy to lower or raise. You will have to make your loft opening the size required by the hatch supplied, but most have different hatch sizes you can choose and you should be able to find one that suits your dimensions.

About the Maximum Load of a Ladder

When you look at the maximum load figure listed under the ladder's specifications please bear in mind that if you intend to carry boxes into your loft space you need to add this weight on to your weight in order to be sure they will meet your requirements.

Guarantee and Life Expectancy

We have listed the Manufacturer's guarantee period under the specifications of each ladder. These vary from 1 year to 10 years depending on the ladder. We believe that a good quality loft ladder which has been correctly fitted and which is used within the limits set down by the manufacturer should give you trouble free usage for between 5 and 10 years.

Accessories for your Loft Ladder

You will see that we have a section for loft ladder accessories. It is worth considering whether you will extra options such as a hand rail or loft ladder extension piece. You should also think about a guard rail inside you loft for added safety.

If you are planning on installing the ladders yourself you should also make sure that you have a good, safe set of stepladders that are tall enough to get you into your loft without stepping above the safe working height of the stepladders. There are offers on to get a discount when you buy stepladders with our loft ladders, and conveniently we can deliver them all at the same time ready for you to get stuck in!

Concertina Loft Ladders Explained

  • Date: 24 Jan 2014
  • By: Motivo

By now you've probably figured out how unsafe a regular old ladder can be for accessing your loft. Especially when it comes to carrying hefty, bulky objects up and down those rickety old rungs. It doesn't matter how often you're using your attic space, or for what purpose, accessing your loft without a safe and secure loft ladder is an erroneous decision.

But with so many different types of loft ladder to choose from, it can sometimes be a little difficult making a choice on what kind to buy. After all, it doesn't just need to be safe, you want one that's just right for your home. And because we know these things are all important, we thought it best to go through a few of the available options that should give you a step in the right direction – and today we're going to talk about Concertina loft ladders.

What are Concertina loft ladders?

Concertina loft ladders are one of two main types of loft ladders – the other being Sliding loft ladders – and tend to be one of the more commonly used amongst home owners looking for safe, space-efficient loft access at a good cost.

Unfolding like an accordion from a securely fixed position surrounding your drop-down hatch or roof joist, Concertina ladders can sit in a very small place, thanks to the scissor styled mechanism, taking up very little space indeed. In fact, Concertina loft ladders take up a fraction of the room of a 2 or 3 section Sliding loft ladder. Perfect for very small loft spaces, or anyone who is only looking to use their attic space now and again.

Depending on the model type, Concertina loft ladders can bear a minimum load of 100kg and maximum load of 200kg, which makes it the ideal tool for carrying light to medium-heavy objects up and down into your attic – often with the aided support of a handrail (although some models are without at the expense of space-saving)

We are leading specialists, experienced in the supply and installation of commercial & industrial ladders Get in touch