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Ladder Exchange focuses on training; number trained jumps 40%
Following September's focus on equipment inspection, the 2013 Ladder Exchange has moved into its second month, emphasising the importance of training for ladder users during a record breaking year for ladder training - which has seen the number of users trained, leap 40%.
Allowing people and companies to trade their old ladders in for safe, new ones, this year's Ladder Exchange is highlighting a different theme for each month between September and December.
This month's theme comes at an important time for the growth of ladder training. Already in 2013 the Ladder Association has trained more people on its three courses than were trained during the whole of 2012, which was itself a record breaking year.
This sharp increase comes in part from Working with Steps and Step Stools, the new training course launched earlier this year for people who only occasionally use ladders in their work, according to an announcement the Association made when the course was launched.
"To have trained over 40% more people than we had by this time in 2012 is arguably the best proof yet that more and more people are understanding the importance of getting trained, even when work at height isn't the focus of their job" says The Ladder Association's Chairman, Cameron Clow.
"Occasional ladder users can be even more at risk because in a shop or a college that culture of safe work at height might be less ingrained.
"In 2012 we trained nearly 50% more people than the year before and to be repeating such a huge increase this year, shows a major change for the better in people's thinking. Low level falls are among the most common, and it's good to finally see views towards ladder safety lining up with the dangers of not using them properly."
Details on ladder training courses, and on the Exchange itself, are available from the Ladder Exchange website, which underlines the need for employers to ensure that anyone who uses ladders even occasionally is competent. The Ladder Association site also explains the available courses in greater detail.
One-day and half-day courses are available for those who work at height regularly, those who do so occasionally, and people inspecting ladders. All of this knowledge is vital to people using ladders and plays a role in reducing the number of low-level falls.
In emphasising how ladders are vital pieces of equipment in the right hands but dangerous in the wrong ones, the Ladder Association reinstated its Idiots on Ladders contest for this year's Ladder Exchange. A number of images already sent in by members of the public have shown how extreme misuse can be. The 2013 album, accepting new submissions and votes until the end of the year, is available on the Ladder Association's Facebook page.
Despite a steady decline, falls from height remain the most common kind of workplace fatality. In 2010/11, a total of 38 workers died and 4,327 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace, with a further 10,232 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.
The Ladder Association is the trade body responsible for advancing safety and best practice in the ladder industry, and oversees the delivery of national training. Formed in 1947 by leading ladder manufacturers, the Ladder Association has since expanded to welcome members from every part of the access industry, playing an integral role in promoting the highest standards of ladder design and manufacture, and advancing best practice in ladder use. With its focus on training, and its recent move to take over the Health & Safety Executive's Ladder Exchange scheme, the Association is a vibrant, forward-looking organisation determined to look after the best interests of its increasingly diverse membership base and, of course, the industry at large.
18th October 2013