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LADDER SAFETY / Occupational Workplace Health & Safety

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What is Occupational Health & Safety and what does it mean?
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) legislation was established to ensure the safety of employees working in commercial environments. NB: Differing state legislations may apply.

Who does this relate to?
Every worker has the right to return home uninjured. OH&S legislation applies only in workplaces, however if you have a contractor perform work at home then your home becomes the ‘workplace’ and as such OH&S legislation automatically applies.

What is the difference between a ‘Domestic’ and an ‘Industrial’ ladder?
An ‘Industrial’ ladder must have a minimum load rating of 120kg and be labeled that it is suitable for Industrial use.
A ‘Domestic’ ladder must have a minimum load rating of 100kg and be labeled that it is suitable for Domestic use.

NB: A ‘Domestic’ ladder is NOT suitable for use in a workplace or in a commercial environment.
Similarly, be aware that just because a ladder is labeled with a load rating, it does not mean that the ladder actually meets the standards. If in doubt, ask for a statement from the manufacturer or distributor.

What ladder ‘Duty’ and ‘Load’ Ratings can be used in a workplace?
Only ‘Industrial’ ladders with a load rating of 120kg or higher can be used in a work environment - this includes building sites, factories, shops and offices. NB: Shops and offices are commercial workplaces and require 'Industrial’ rated ladders.

What do I need to know about OH&S and ‘Working at Heights’?
The Principles:

  1. Assess the risks.
  2. Identify the fall hazards.
  3. Fix the problem.

As part of these principles, a number of Risk Control Measures have been provided to give employers and employees a way of applying the principles outlined above.

Risk Control Measures:
  1. Try to eliminate the risk of a fall first.
  2. Use passive fall prevention devices e.g. Temporary work platforms, scaffolds, guard railing, cherry pickers.
  3. Use work positioning systems e.g. Rope friction devices, harnesses.
  4. Use fall injury prevention systems e.g. Safety nets.
  5. Use ladder administrative systems e.g. Work procedures.
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