The incorrect use of ladders and stepladders account for approximately 25% of all falls which result in fatalities or major injuries within the UK.
Where ladders/stepladders are used, they should only be used for light work of a low risk and of short duration (max ½ hr).
Ladders/stepladders should only be considered where the use of more suitable work equipment such as tower scaffolds, podium steps, mobile elevating work platforms or temporary stairs is not appropriate.
Carrying out a proper risk assessment will support the decision whether to use ladders/stepladders or alternative equipment. Typically, the longer or more complex the job, the more likely it is that a ladder/stepladder should be deemed unsuitable.
Information on the safe use of ladders and stepladders is contained in HSE leaflets:
“Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders: An Employers’ Guide” (INDG402) and
“Top Tips for Ladder and Stepladder Safety” (INDG405)