The UK Ladder Exchange starts on September 1

By Maria Hadlow29 August 2012

From the beginning of September to the end of November anyone in the UK who buys, uses or has responsibility for supervising the use of ladders, can take advantage of this year's Ladder Exchange.

This is an annual campaign that enables unsafe ladders to be replaced for brand new ones, at a discounted price, at any one of the Ladder Exchange's official partners www.ladderexchange.org.uk

Now run and managed by the Ladder Association, which plans to grow and develop the campaign in future years, the Ladder Exchange has already removed over 10000 broken, bent and damaged ladders from the workplace, with the message: Don't let a dodgy ladder shatter your life.

"Right now is the ideal time for firms to be checking their ladder stocks," says Cameron Clow, Chairman of the Ladder Association. "Dodgy ladders are dangerous and need to be removed from service. The Ladder Exchange provides the perfect incentive to do just that and replace them with safe, brand new ones at a discounted price.

"Falls from height remain the most common cause of death and injury in the workplace, so this campaign has a particularly important role to play in helping to reduce these consistently worrying statistics."

It is important to maintain ladders and stepladders in good working order by carrying out pre-use checks, detailed inspections and routine maintenance. Pre-use checks are intended to quickly establish whether a ladder is safe to use there and then. Detailed inspections, as required by the Work at Height Regulations, are more in-depth and need to be carried out by a competent person.

This year's Ladder Exchange is supported by an impressive line-up of campaign partners across the UK, whose details can be found on the website. It also contains a wealth of information about ladder safety, including free online videos.

Despite a steady decline, falls from height remain the most common kind of workplace fatality. In 2010/11 in the UK a total of 38 workers died and 4327 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace, with a further 10232 employees suffering an 'over 3 day' injury. Many of these incidents could have been avoided by people with the right training using the correct equipment that had been properly inspected and maintained.

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