In order to avoid such accidents, it is necessary to adjust the position of the ladder well and secure it securely to the ground.
You can find below the EN-131 standard to avoid such difficulties.
» 1. Introduction
» 2. Reasons for accidents
» 3. Before Use
» 4. Positioning and Erecting the Ladder
» 5. Using the ladder
» 6. Repair, Maintenance and Storage
These directions for use and handling contain important safety information.
Therefore read over these directions completely; in particular, pay attention to all safety information before you use the ladder.
Please keep these directions for use and handling. When the ladder is passed on to another user, these Use and Operating Instructions should be provided. The ladder meets the requirements of the European standard EN 131-1-2-3.
2. Reasons for accidents
The following list of hazards and examples of their causes, which is not exhaustive, are common reasons for accidents encountered when using ladders and are the basis on which the information in this standard has been developed:
a) Loss of stability:
1. Incorrect choice of ladder (such as too short, unsuitable task);
2. Incorrect positioning of the ladder (such as incorrect angle for leaning ladder or not fully opening a standing ladder);
3. Slide outwards at the bottom (such as bottom of leaning ladders sliding away from the wall);
4. Side slip, and top flip for leaning ladders (such as overreaching or fragile top contact surface);
5. Falling sideways;
6. Condition of the ladder (such as missing anti-slip feet for leaning ladders);
7. Stepping off an unsecured ladder at height;
8. Ground conditions (such as unstable soft ground, sloping ground, slippery surfaces or contaminated solid surfaces);
9. Adverse weather conditions (such as windy conditions);
10. Collision with the ladder (such as vehicle or door);
b) From handling:
1. Transferring the ladder to the work position;
2. Erecting and dismantling the ladder;
3. Carrying items up the ladder;
c) Slip, trip and fall of user:
1. Inappropriate footwear;
2. Contaminated rungs or steps;
3. Unsafe user practices (such as climbing two rungs at time, sliding down stiles);
4. Ground conditions (such as unstable soft ground, sloping ground, slippery surfaces or contaminated solid surfaces);
d) Structural failure of ladder:
1. Condition of the ladder (such as damaged stiles, wear, UV degradation of plastic parts);
2. Overloading the ladder;
3. Unintended use;
e) Electrical hazards:
1. Incorrect selection of type of ladder for electrical work;
2. Unavoidable live working (e.g. fault finding);
3. Positioning ladders too close to live electrical equipment (such as overhead power lines);
4. Ladders damaging electrical equipment (such as covers or protective insulation)
3. Before Use
• Ensure that you are fit enough to use a ladder. Certain medical conditions or medication, alcohol or drug abuse could make ladder use unsafe;
• When transporting ladders on roof bars or in a truck, ensure they are suitably placed to prevent damage;
• Inspect the ladder after delivery and before first use to confirm condition and operation of all parts;
• Visually check the ladder is not damaged and is safe to use at the start of each working day when tje ladder is to be used;
• For professional users regular periodic inspection is required;
• Ensure the ladder is suitable for the task;
• Do not use a damaged ladder;
• Remove any contamination from the ladder, such as wet paint, mud, oil or snow;
• Before using a ladder at work a risk assessment should be carried out respecting the legislation in the country of use.
4. Positioning and Erecting the Ladder
• Ladder shall be erected at the correct position, such as the correct angle for a leaning ladder (angle of inclination approximately 1:4) with the rungs or treads level and complete opening of a standing ladder;
• Locking devices, if fitted, shall be fully secured before use;
• Ladders shall be on an even, level and unmoveable base;
• Leaning ladder should lean against a flat non-fragile surface and sould be secured before use, e.g. tied or use of a suitable device;
• Ladder shall never be repositioned from above;
• When positioning the ladder take into account risk of collision with the ladder e.g. from pedestrians, vehicles or doors. Secure doors (not fire exists) and windows where possible in the work area;
• Identify any electrical risks in the work area, such as overhead lines or other exposed electrical equipment;
• Ladder shall be stood on its feet, not the rungs or steps;
• Ladders shall not be positioned on slippery surfaces (such as ice, shiny surfaces or significantly contaminated solid surfaces) unless additional effective measures are taken to prevent the ladder slipping or ensuring contaminated surfaces are sufficiently clean.
5. Using the ladder
• Do not exceed the maximum total load for the type of ladder;
• Do not overreach; user should keep their belt buckle (navel) inside the stiles and both fee: step/rung throughout the task;
• Do not step off a leaning ladder at a higher level without additional security, such as tying off or suitable stability device;
• Do not use standing ladders for access to another level;
• Do not stand on the top three steps/rungs of a leaning ladder;
• Do not stand on the top two steps/rungs of a standing ladder wtihout a platform and hand/knee rail;
• Do not stand on the top four steps/rungs of a standing ladder with an extending ladder at the top;
• Ladders should only be used for light work of short duration;
• Use non-conductive ladders for unavoidable live electrical work;
• Do not use the ladder outside in adverse weather conditions, such as strong wind;
• Take precautions against children playing on the ladder;
• Secure doors (not fire exits) and windows where possible in the work area;
• Face the ladder when ascending and descending;
• Keep a secure grip on the ladder when ascending and descending;
• Do not use the ladder as a bridge;
• Wear suitable footwear when climbing a ladder;
• Avoid excessive side loadings e.g. drilling brick and concrete;
• Do not spend long periods on a ladder without regular breaks (tiredness is a risk);
• Leaning ladders used for access to a higher level should be extended at least 1 m. above the landing point;
• Equipment carried while using a ladder should be light and easy to handle;
• Avoid work that imposes a sideways load on standing ladders, such as side-on drilling through solid materials (e.g. brick or concrete);
• Maintain a handhold whilst working from a ladder or take additional safety precautions if you cannot. For EN131-7 (Only valid for mobile ladders with platform) ;
• For outdoor use caution to the wind.
• Use only with activated brakes.
• To use only with stabilizers. (If available).
6. Repair, Maintenance and Storage
• Repairs and maintenance shall be carried out by a competent person and be in accordance producer’s instructions.
• NOTE A Competent person is someone who has the skills to carry out repairs or maintenance, e.g. by a training by the manufacturer.
• For repair and replacement of parts, e.g. feet, if necessary contact the producer or distributor.
• Ladders should be stored in accordance with the producer’s instructions.
• Ladders made of or using thermoplastic, thermosetting plastic and reinforced plastic materials should be stored out of direct sunlight.
• Ladders made of wood should be stored in a dry place and shall not be coated with opaque and vapour-tight paints.