Get Safety Advice from Your Local Ladder Suppliers in South Africa
Many work accidents and incidents in South Africa involve ladders. In fact, the statistics might surprise you. A ladder is typically used to complete tasks at heights that are not easy, or impossible, to reach by yourself. Defective and poorly maintained ladders are usually the cause of incidents in the workplace. Of course, working at any height has its risks. Head injuries, broken bones and even death can be the result of a fall from a ladder. Some ladder incidents even involve a person coming into contact with a powerline and being electrocuted! According to the SA Labour website, statistics for deaths due to ladders falls and mishaps in South Africa are shocking.
Of course, there are rules and regulations regarding the safe use of ladders in the workplace in South African law. According to General Safety Regulation 6 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993), anything that is above ground is considered to be “working at heights” and special and specific precautions need to be taken. Because of this regulation, companies that need to have things lifted to any height that is not easily reached with a person’s two feet firmly on the ground, must consult one of the ladder suppliers in South Africa to ensure that they have good-quality ladders for their staff. The law forbids an employee to stand on a chair or a tabletop to reach things. Now it is also to be noted that the use of a ladder is always supposed to be temporary. One is not allowed to employ a ladder to move between two floors or levels on a daily basis, instead of using stairs.
When buying ladders for your business, it is important that you understand how to safely them. There is a multitude of ladder types on the market and many of them are designed for a specific purpose; for instance, the ladder used to stack items in a clothing store will not be suitable for use by an electrician. The market typically supplies industrial, household, and commercial step ladders. There are single and sectional ladders, extension ladders, and rolling ladders too. Ladders can also be made from various materials, including wood, fibreglass, and metal. Aluminium is a very popular material for ladders.
There are many things that cause ladder accidents and incidents. For instance, a poorly maintained ladder might result in a fall, or a ladder that is not properly secured. Ladders that do not have foot grips can slip in wet conditions and are unsafe. Laziness can lead to the ladder being positioned in one spot and the worker leaning too far to reach work surfaces, causing both to topple over. A hazard, if the worker does not take the time to carefully inspect the surroundings, include potential contact with electrical lines. It is important that you teach your staff members about safe use of ladders and supervise them until you are confident with their skills and abilities.
General Safety Regulation 11 insists that ladders used in the workplace must be suitable for the task at hand and must be made from sound material. The ladder must also be fitted with non-slip ends. The following stipulations also form part of General Safety Regulation 11:
- Ladders must be fitted with hooks to secure them.
- No ladder can be used if it has missing rungs or damaged stiles.
- A ladder may not be used if it must lean against an object that is taller than 9 m.
Want to learn more about safety and the labour regulations regarding ladders? Chat to your local ladder suppliers in South Africa. At Caslad we are standing by to offer advice and guidance, as well as present you with a range of top-quality ladders to choose from.