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Exchange scheme for faulty ladders

02 September 2008

Speedy Hire has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive to urge companies to avoid using faulty ladders and unsuitable equipment when working at height in a bid to cut the high number of deaths and injuries caused by falls from height.

Following the success of this campaign last year when more than 4000 ladders were exchanged, from 1 September Speedy Hire will be offering to exchange old and faulty ladders for alternative, safer equipment.

According to latest statistics from the HSE, falls from ladders caused 12 deaths to workers last year - over a quarter of the total number caused by falls from height. Ladders were also responsible for nearly 1200 serious injuries. These incidents are estimated to have cost the economy over £60m last year.

Mark Turnbull, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Director at Speedy Hire said: "Statistics from the HSE demonstrate the need for more safety awareness when working at height. People need to ensure their ladders are in proper working order and, just as importantly, that they are using the right piece of equipment for the job. Far too often, accidents are caused when a ladder is used incorrectly or in place of safer access equipment. If customers bring in their old ladders to our depot we will conduct a full inspection to see if they are safe. Ladders should only be used for low risk, short duration tasks. Sometimes an alternative product, such as a working platform or podium, is a better option. Customers who bring in their old ladders for exchange will receive up to 50 percent discount on ladders and stepladders certified to BSEN131 or BS2037. Wherever possible, we will send any ladders that do not pass inspection to be recycled."

Dr Elizabeth Gibby, director of HSE's Injuries Reduction Programme added: "In 2006/07 45 workers died, and 3750 workers were seriously injured as a result of a fall from height in the workplace - nearly a third of them involved a ladder. Through last year's Ladder Exchange over 4,000 'dodgy' ladders were removed from the workplace. This year we are working with our partners to provide businesses with a further opportunity to part-exchange their broken, damaged or bent ladders with a new one.

During Ladder Exchange 2008 HSE and Local Authority inspectors will be visiting premises to provide advice about ladder safety. Where 'dodgy' ladders are being used they will take appropriate enforcement action. We urge businesses to get involved in Ladder Exchange and help prevent unnecessary and costly injuries. Don't let a dodgy ladder shatter your life."

The ladder exchange will be been running from 1 September and the discount is valid at participating Speedy Hire tool depots and access branches until end December 2008.





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