If you work in a job that involves working at height, chances are that you will be fairly well-acquainted with the humble ladder.

However, what you might not be so familiar with is the recent change in ladder regulations that has rocked the UK ladder industry to its very core…

 

ladder regulations

 

What is EN131?

Okay, while that last statement may be a little bit of a stretch, the fact remains: new ladder regulations have indeed been implemented in the UK and the times they are a-changing.

Luckily, for ladder users nationwide, things are looking up!

The new and improved EN131 regulation was introduced in January 2018, replacing the old version of the same name. After a year’s grace period, the new ruling came into official effect in January 2019.

The move represented the changing of the guard and signalled to the industry that both Trading Standards and the HSE will expect all new ladders created thereafter to adhere to the new rule.

But what exactly is this new rule and how does it affect you?

To handle such laddery queries, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to the EN131 regulation for questions just like that.

 

Why did it change?

When it comes to working with ladders, one thing is for sure – it certainly has its ups and downs… and ups and down… and ups and downs...

However, while regulatory changes can often spell headaches for those directly affected, the recent change in ladder regulations is actually a change for the better in many ways.

Prior to the updated amendments, UK ladder regulations were split into three categories: covering industrial, trade and domestic use.

However, the old version of the EN131 had some gaping holes in its armour, notably the absence of slip, stability, strength and durability precautions.

As these are generally the key areas that account for primary causes of ladder-related accidents, the European Commission set about making a change.

As a result, the new and improved EN131 was created and released to the world like a new iPhone, boasting all the perks of previous model but with a few tweaks and handy new features attached.

 

What’s changed?

Fresh from its regulatory facelift, the EN131 now uses a simplified two-class system, clearly dividing ladders into either professional or non-professional categorisation.

The new ruling should (in theory) harmonise standards for ladders across the board, ensuring that all ladders meet the minimum safety standards required.

While there’s very little in terms of wholesale changes, the EN131 does feature numerous essential criteria in the interest of user safety.

According to the amended regulation, all ladders over 3m must now feature stabilisers and be appropriately tested. Meanwhile, all new ladders must also have an MWL of at least 150kg.

 

Do I need to change my ladders?

While the new ladder regulations should help keep ladder manufacturers on the up and up, what does that mean for ladder-using professionals nationwide?

If you already own ladders for work purposes – whether you’re a window cleaner, a roofer or Santa Claus – it’s worth remembering that this new regulation is a guideline for manufacturers creating ladders from now on.

As a result, the regulation change shouldn’t directly impact professionals, so don’t worry about any ladder inspectors stopping by to check the quality of your gear and repossess your equipment.

That being said, while professionals won’t be forced to replace their existing hardware, they will be expected/urged to upgrade to an EN131 certified ladder when their current one bites the dust.

 

ladder regulations

 

Where can I buy EN131 certified ladders?

If your job involves working with ladders and you’re looking to take your ladder game to the next level, why not check out the range of ladders available at SLG today?

From step ladders and extension ladders to fibreglass ladders and telescopic ladders, we have everything you could ever need to help you up your game and take you straight to the top.

While you’re at it, be sure to breeze by our ladder safety equipment too. Our range of ladder safety kits are perfect for anyone looking to make working at height a little less hazardous.

 

For more information on any of the ladders available on SafetyLiftinGear.com, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0117 9381 600 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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A chemical firm has been handed a hefty fine after a worker suffered a nasty injury following a fall off a ladder.

The incident occurred at the company’s site in Workington when the employee was attempting to inspect a steam leak at height.

While scaling a ladder to do so, the ladder failed, resulting in the worker falling two metres to the ground below, incurring a serious elbow injury in the process.

 

working at height, ladder safety equipment

 

Further Investigation

The incident resulted in the firm, Vertellus Specialties UK Ltd, being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Following their inquiry, the HSE soon concluded that the company had failed to ensure that the job was adequately planned and managed.

Meanwhile, the HSE also surmised that Vertellus had failed to inspect the equipment and ensure it was fit for use.

 

Consequences

While the incident took place back in June 2018, the verdict was only reached this past week.

The hearing saw company representatives plead guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The results left Vertellus Specialties UK Ltd with a lofty fine of £120k with over £5k in costs.

 

Ladder Safety Equipment

Such an incident could have been avoided if the appropriate cautionary steps had been taken in advance.

At SLG, we have a variety of ladder safety equipment to help prevent such instances from occurring and minimise the risks of injury, ranging from removable wall anchors to fall protection kits.

Meanwhile, we also offer permanent structural solutions in the form of our Rung Mounted Permanent Vertical Fall Arrest System, compatible with a demountable mobile anchorage device for additional safety and enhanced freedom of movement.

With so many options available in terms of ladder safety equipment, there’s really no excuse for placing workers at risk. Keep your employees safe when working at height and protect your business at the same time with ladder safety equipment from SLG.

 

For more information on precautions for working at height or ladder safety equipment, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0117 9381 600 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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With high-profile clientele including Tesco, Next and Harrods, chances are you’ve already come across AddGards products before, perhaps without even realising it.

Characterised by their hi-vis colour scheme and uniquely eye-catching aesthetic, AddGards safety products range from children's furniture to wet wipe dispensers.

However, AddGards are perhaps best known within the industry as a go-to brand for safety barriers in the British Isles. And with good reason – their safety products are top-notch.

 

addgards safety barriers

 

Safety Barriers from AddGards

If you’ve hit a roadblock in your quest for a decent safety barrier, check out these stellar safety products from the pros at AddGards.

 

addgards safety barriers

Addgards 2-panel Yellow Elevator Gard Safety Barrier

As the name suggests, the Elevator Gard from AddGards is ideal for blocking off a lift for maintenance works and retuning.

With “No Admittance” signs included as standard, each pack supplied as a set of two panels, weighing 4.5kg each and measuring over a metre high and over half a metre wide.

Made from durable polyethylene plastic, each barrier also features telescopic poles stored inside, all of which are non-conductive for added safety.

Suitable for 130cm openings as ordered, these foldable modular units can also be linked together with additional units to form larger blockades, if required.

 

addgards safety barriers

Addgards Supergard 2-panel Yellow/Black Safety Barrier

Offering a more substantial blockade for wider areas, the Supergard provides a durable, square safety barrier with an easy-clean, high-polish finish.

Meanwhile, all panels are also fitted with rubber feet for added traction, allowing them to grip to virtually any hard surface.

Available in standard sets of two, each panel comes with two caution/no entry signs and features a striking yellow and black hazard stripe pattern across the top.

For broader barricades, additional sets can be easily linked together with the patented hinge system for simple adjoining of panels. Reflective signage is also available.

 

addgards safety barriers

Addgards 1mtr High 3-Panel Yellow Safety Barrier

What’s better than 2-panel safety barrier? A 3-panel safety barrier, of course! Featuring nylon and stainless-steel hinges, these versatile polyurethane barriers are ideal for outdoor use.

While each panel weighs an ample 4kg each, additional stability bases are available on request for additional security in windy conditions.

Standing a metre high and a metre wide, each panel has red and white reflective signage across the top of all panels for enhanced visibility.

Meanwhile, these too can also be linked together for comprehensive coverage of larger areas, such as roadworks.

Speaking of roadworks, this product also complies with UK Chapter 8 regulations for road works, making them ideal for road maintenance use.

 

addgards safety barriers

Addgards Handigard 3-panel Red/White Safety Barrier

Boasting a hi-vis red/white aesthetic across the top of each panel, the Handigard safety barrier is a high-quality modular barrier system that offers conspicuous cordoned-off safety.

Featuring a smooth finish for easy cleaning and maintenance, all panels also come with ‘No Entry’ symbols as standard.

Foldable for easy storage, the Handigard also includes snap-on hinges for simple linking of panels for wider areas.

Weighing 2.5kg each, these durable polyethylene panels are also compatible with the corresponding rubber base stand for windier conditions or linear use.

The Handigard is ideal for a variety of purposes and designed to comply with BS7801:2011 standards of use.

 

addgards safety barriers

Addgards Minder Plastic Safety Barrier

An iconic product in the AddGards range, the AddGards Minder is instantly recognisable and a memorable barrier that is a common feature in a variety of public places, from supermarkets and fast-food restaurants to schools and airports.

 

 

The family-friendly personality of this product has earned it the nickname of “The Little Yellow Man” – a fitting moniker for this warm and friendly way of ensuring public safety.

Each Minder comes with its own stand for solo use, while they also feature connective “hands” and “feet” for easy connection to other Minders, should you require a wider barrier.

Lightweight yet robust and durable, these hi-vis safety barriers stand at over a metre tall and just under 80cm wide with a weight of just 2.5kg.

Each product also comes with six messages, including: “Wet Floor”, “Out of Service and “Cleaning in Progress”.

 

For more information on AddGards products or any other safety barriers available on SafetyLiftinGear.com, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0117 9381 600 or get in touch online using the button below.

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Lorry fall protection solutions

A water storage tank manufacturing firm was recently fined thousands of pounds for failing to prevent a fall that left an employee with multiple fractures of the head, ribs, fingers and shoulder blade.

SHP Online recently reported that Braithwaite Engineers Ltd had been fined £9,400 - plus costs of £1,680.75 - after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) noted that the fall, which occurred in October 2017, might have been prevented if the company had provided suitable and clear instructions and working at height training.

HSE Inspector Will Powell stated:

"Falls from vehicles can be overlooked by employers...[but] simple measures would have prevented this accident."

Fall Protection for Lorry Beds

Working on a lorry bed can be dangerous if there's no barrier around the edges of the platform.

Here at SafetyLiftinGear, we sell lorry edge protection straps to help you minimise the risk to your employees while they're working on an elevated lorry bed.

Lorry Edge Strap

Buy Edge Protection Straps >

These high-visibility straps are easy to attach, and they reduce the likelihood that a worker will fall off the edge of the lorry and injure him/herself.

Our RJ200 hangman frame lorry / container access anchor is also ideal for improving worker safety on raised lorry beds.

Hangman Frame Anchor System

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This frame can be used as a semi-permanent mobile anchor point for safety harnesses when working at height. It stands roughly 6.25 metres tall and allows for a working radius of 3 metres (approximately 9.84 feet).

Please call SafetyLiftinGear on 0117 9381 600 or contact us online if you'd like to discuss your height safety requirements. We're more than happy to recommend products, and we can even provide bespoke fall protection solutions for particularly demanding or unusual jobs.

The dangers of working at height have hit the headlines once again this week after two companies were heavily fined for putting their workers' safety at risk.

According to industry watchdog, Safety & Health Practitioner, an incident in April 2016 saw pipe repair workers in Bilston exposed to significant risk during a job at a warehouse owned by James Durrans & Sons Ltd.

The contractors, working for Kingswinford Engineering Co Ltd, were hired to fix pipework on the roof of the warehouse; however, the conditions provided were shockingly reckless, posing a variety of dangers for those working on the job.

 

fall protection, fall arrest, working at height

 

No Safety System

The nature of the task required workers to be hoisted to the roof in a forklift man-cage; however, the forklift fell short of the roof, leaving a three-foot gap.

The roof was then only accessible by climbing from the cage to the roof. Worse still, the roof itself was said to be slippery and wet with no protective barrier in place to prevent a fall.

An investigation by the HSE concluded that neither the warehouse owners or the repair company had conducted a proper risk assessment and no safety system had implemented for the job.

 

The Price of Safety

The HSE findings highlighted that both James Durrans & Sons Ltd and Kingswinford Engineering Co Ltd had assumed the other had the safety procedures covered.

This gross negligence led both parties to plead guilty to breaching sections of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The result saw Kingswinford Engineering fined to the tune of £18k with costs of £9k, while Durrans & Sons were fined an even heftier £100k with costs of £20k.

 

Proper Precautions

The news story highlights the importance of worker/contractor safety on site and the financial ramifications associated with such an oversight.

Despite the lofty fines levied against both companies involved, the price could have been far steeper should an accident have occurred.

If you or your company are involved in working at height, suitable and appropriate fall protection measures are a must – it could save a life.

 

For more information on fall arrest and fall protection, call now on 0117 9381 600 or get in touch online using the button below.

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