With 4,194 Shaky Ladders Retired, Second UK Campaign Planned

Falls from height are the number one cause of workplace fatalities in the United Kingdom and one of the leading causes of major injuries, with a third of the 3,409 serious injuries from falls from height in 2006-07 having resulted from a fall from a ladder. Determined to improve the statistics, the Health and Safety Executive began a campaign in June 2007 with some 60 local authorities, contractors, and ladder retailers to get "dodgy" ladders out of workplaces.

The results were smashing: 4,194 substandard ladders were exchanged for new ones, beating the 2007 goal of 4,000. "We have a simple message to ladder users. If it is right to use a ladder, use the right ladder, use it safely. If it's not the right ladder, exchange it," HSE explained.

"We know from our Local Authority colleagues that there are still a lot of dodgy ladders in use. We therefore plan to run a new Ladder Exchange initiative in Autumn 2008," the agency announced. "We will again be working with partners to give those using substandard ladders the opportunity to exchange them before our inspectors or those from local authorities call." To read the agency's pre-use ladder safety checklist, visit www.hse.gov.uk/falls/preusechecks.htm.

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