The specific section of the legislation governing the use of portable leaning ladders is below
5. A portable ladder shall be prevented from slipping during use by
(a) securing the stiles at or near their upper or lower ends;
(b) an effective anti-slip or other effective stability device; or
(c) any other arrangement of equivalent effectiveness.
These three methods of securing a ladder are a hierarchy in descending order of preference and are covered in detail below.
|Method (a) securing the stiles at or near their upper or lower endsThis is the method that HSE would prefer to see employed whenever a leaning ladder is used – securing the ladder to the supporting structure by tying the stiles to a solid anchoring point at the upper or lower ends of the stiles – but it is often impractical, or indeed impossible, to do so. If no solid anchoring point exists at the base of the supporting structure the ladder user would need to either create one, by for instance drilling eye bolts into the side of the structure at every work site, or secure the ladder stiles at the upper end. However to gain access to the upper end of the ladder without climbing it while it is unsecured, the user would need to use an alternate access method – cherry-picker, scaffold tower etc.
||Method (b) an effective anti-slip or other effective stability deviceThe Rojak Design range of base stabilisers have been designed and engineered to provide effective protection against base slip, and a Safe Ladder System, comprising a Multi-Stopper base stabiliser and Spyder top stabiliser, provides protection against all possible ladder failure modes a level of safety that is above and beyond the requirements of the regulations. At this time (June 2010) no HSE test protocol exists to determine the ‘effectiveness’ of ladder stabiliser devices. However, the Ladder Systems Manufacturers Association (LaSMA), of which Rojak Design is a founding member, is working closely with the HSE to create a thorough and rigorous test protocol that will define and measure ‘effectiveness’ of stabilisers. As a company we are uniquely qualified to aid the trade association in this task due to the exhaustive research and testing we have performed to create our product range.
||Method (c) any other arrangement of equivalent effectivenessWe are unaware of any ad hoc or improvised arrangements which are as effective and practical as our ladder stabiliser range.