Any equipment that is specifically designed to allow the user to work safely at height (eg ladders, scaffolds, tower scaffolds ) is commonly called ‘access equipment’.
Considering the risks associated with work at height and putting in place sensible and proportionate measures to manage them is an important part of working safely.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide to help you control risks when working at height
European standards require that ladders are identified using three classifications…
Note 1: The safe working load (also referred to as the maximum load) is intended to cover the weight of a single person and their equipment.
Note 2: These classifications do not include pole ladders, static roof access ladders, or loft ladders.
A colour coding is used to provide a simple visual indication of the classification:
The colour is typically found on the rubber feet, attached user instructions, or on warning labels.
These are used mainly for indoor work but can also be used outside, as long as they are standing on a firm base
Extension – or multi-section – ladders are split into sections which can be extended to reach the required height
Safe use of ladders:
Safe use of ladders:
There are two kinds of tower scaffolds:
Both kinds of tower scaffold can be either:
Podium steps are much better than step ladders; they offer trouble-free and secure access to ceilings and walls, and reduce the chance of falling from just a metre.
One example is just 780 mm when closed but stretches to 3.3 m when extended.
This ladder will fit easily in the boot of the car. It is also very portable, making it a good choice for tight spaces
Mobile elevated working platforms (scissor lifts)
A type of platform that can usually only extend vertically.
The mechanism to achieve this consists of linked, folding supports in a criss-cross ‘X’ pattern, known as a pantograph (or scissor mechanism).
Also known as a boom lift, man lift, basket crane or hydraladder
A type of aerial work platform that consists of a platform or bucket at the end of a hydraulic lifting system
Designed to be lightweight but very robust
Enable operatives to work safely within places such as lofts.
Training for use of access equipment such as mobile tower scaffolds, mobile scissor lifts or cherry pickers is overseen by PASMA (Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association).
This body represents the interests of manufacturers, suppliers, specifiers and users of mobile access equipment, and provides and oversees the industry standard training scheme.
Links to checklists, H&S guidance documents, and relevant British standards are available on their web site…