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Damian Jones By Damian Jones • July 18, 2017

6 checks you should make before using your Access Equipment

Are you a health and safety manager trying to ensure compliance of your ladders and access equipment?

Around two million ladders are used daily in the UK and over a third of all reported fall from height incidents involve ladders and stepladders. If ladders and stepladders are being used it’s essential that they’re inspected frequently to ensure they remain safe to work with. As with any type of equipment, staff must be trained on the correct use and how to inspect their ladders before use to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Before starting a task, you should always carry out the following 6 ‘pre-use’ checks to spot any obvious visual defects to make sure your equipment is safe to use.

Ladder inspection checklist stile.jpg

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).

Step 1 - Check The Stiles: Make sure they are not bent or damaged, as the ladder could buckle or collapse.

Step 2 - Check The Feet:  If they are missing, worn or damaged. Also check the 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. 

Step 3 - Check The Rungs: If they are bent, worn, missing or loose the ladder could fail.

Step 4 - Check Any Locking Mechanism: If they are bent or the fixings are worn or damaged the ladder could collapse. Ensure any locking bars are engaged.

Step 5 - Check The Platform: If it is split or buckled the ladder could become unstable or collapse.

Step 6 - 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.

We've created a ladder inspection checklist, to ensure that your access equipment is safe to use. Suitable for: Stepladders, Extension Ladders, Specialty Ladders.

Ladder inspection checklist

Posted by Damian Jones

Damian, in his capacity as procurement manager, is rarely idle. If he’s not liaising with suppliers, analysing product usage or sourcing new products, he’ll probably be helping a colleague with a technical issue.

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