UK ladder exchange set to start

By Euan Youdale28 August 2013

The winning entry in the Ladder Association's 'Idiot on a Ladder' photo competition 2012

The winning entry in the Ladder Association's 'Idiot on a Ladder' photo competition 2012

Following the success of last year’s campaign, which saw the number of ladders exchanged increase by 35%, the Ladder Association has launched this year’s inspection-led campaign.

This year it will run a month longer from 1 September to 31 December 2013. According to Ladder Association chairman, Cameron Clow, the aim of the extra month is to deliver a clear safety message to home users in the run-up to Christmas.

Mr Clow said: “It will enable us to remind the public of the need to check and inspect ladders and stepladders before using them to put up Christmas lights and decorations, and, of course, how to use them safely.”

First introduced in 2007, the Ladder Exchange has already been responsible for removing thousands of broken and bent ladders from the workplace. These can be exchanged for new ones, at a discount, at any of the campaign’s partner outlets. See www.ladderexchange.org.uk for details.

Also new for 2013 is the decision to focus on four distinct ladder-related topics, one for each month of the campaign. Inspection will start the Exchange, followed by ladder training, then best practice and finally home use in December. A number of events and activities are also planned and details of these will be posted on the website shortly.

This year will also see the return of the popular ‘Idiots on Ladders’ competition, in which the public send in pictures of people using ladders unwisely. “We were amazed by the response,” says Michael Fern, whose job it was to sift through the images at the Ladder Association.

“The ladder is an invaluable piece of workplace equipment,” said Mr Clow. “However, like everything else, some common-sense rules apply. Just remember that if it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder, in good condition, and make sure you use it properly. If you’re in any doubt, just ask a Ladder Association member for advice.”

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