New Guidance on Ladder Safety

13th September 2021 Posted in Blogs

The Ladder Association and the HSE have jointly produced new guidance, which replaces the HSE Guidance Document INDG455 of the same name.


This guidance is for employers providing sensible precautions to take to keep people safe when using portable leaning ladders and stepladders at work. \n\nThe guidance is also useful in respect of complying with health and safety law – whilst there is no law specifically relating to ladders their safe and sensible use is covered in the Health and Safety Act 1974.

The Ladder Association and the HSE have jointly produced new guidance, which replaces the HSE Guidance Document INDG455 of the same name. 

This guidance is for employers providing sensible precautions to take to keep people safe when using portable leaning ladders and stepladders at work. \n\nThe guidance is also useful in respect of complying with health and safety law – whilst there is no law specifically relating to ladders their safe and sensible use is covered in the Health and Safety Act 1974.

What does the law say? 

The law calls for a sensible, proportionate approach to managing risk and states that ladders are all types of portable leaning ladders and stepladders and this guidance applies both. The law also states that ladders can be used for work at height if an assessment of the risk for carrying out that task has shown that alternative equipment is not required. Finally, to use a ladder you must competent and if you are being trained this must be by a competent person. 

What’s a competent person anyway? 

Competence in this area can be demonstrated through training, practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge and they should be able to

  • Assess the risks of using a ladder for a particular task 
  • Know When it is right to use a ladder (and when it is not).
  • Know Which type of ladder to use and how to use 

What else does the guidance cover? 

The guidance covers areas including checking a ladder is safe for use, using a ladder safely, the place or work where the ladder will be used, how to secure a ladder, ladders used for access and the condition of the equipment. In particular, the guidance covers how to check for defects in the different parts of a ladder and specific guidance for different types of ladders from simple stepladders, to leaning ladders, telescopic and combination ladders. 

To read the full guidance click here


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