November 17, 2011 19:00 ET

Swinton Commercial Advises Business Owners to Take Ladder Safety Seriously

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2011) - As Christmas approaches and the decorations come out of their boxes and gutters need to be cleaned, Swinton Commercial is advising business owners to take extra care when operating ladders in the workplace.

A survey carried out by Swinton Commercial, a leading UK commercial insurance broker found that up to 65 percent of serious accidents reported in the workplace between 2009-2010, involved the misuse of ladders.

Falls from height remain the most common cause of workplace fatality in the UK today. In 2008/09 there were 35 fatalities, 4654 major injuries and a further 7065 injuries that caused the injured person to be off work for over 3 days or more, due to a fall from height.

Swinton Commercial advises taking the following precautions to reduce the risk of you or your employee suffering a terrible tumble:

  • Properly assess the job to determine what equipment should be used. Ladders are often used for tasks which could be done more safely and more quickly from equipment such as a cherry picker or a scaffold. Only use ladders for low risk, short duration tasks or where the existing features of the site cannot be altered.
  • If a ladder is to be used make sure that it is secure and cannot slip. Tie it at the top, have someone hold it at the base, or use a suitable stability device to prevent it from slipping. If the ladder is more than 5 m long, a person at the base is unlikely to be able to stop it from slipping.
  • Place the ladder on a firm, stable surface which is of suitable strength to keep the rungs horizontal.
  • Consider using attachments such as an adjustable ladder leveller, or a 'stand' spreader bar.
  • Set the ladder at the correct angle. It should be angled out one measure for every four up (75 degrees).
  • Use a ladder that is, or can be, extended to the correct length - don't work from the top three rungs of the ladder. Make sure the ladder protrudes sufficiently above the place of landing to which it provides access - three rungs or 1 m should be enough.
  • Check the ladder for defects, and make sure that it is only used by people who know how to use it correctly.

Jolene Shaw, Technical Referral Advisor at Swinton Commercial, said: "Ladder safety is a very real issue and it's important that business owners take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their staff from risk in the workplace and of course have adequate public liability insurance."

About Swinton Commercial:

As the UK's fastest-growing commercial insurance broker, Swinton Commercial has the expertise and industry knowledge to provide you with highly competitive business insurance that's tailored to your needs.

With 33 branches across the UK, including 18 regional centres, Swinton Commercial has quickly established itself as the UK's local broker, offering a dedicated team of advisors with specialist industry knowledge in all sectors.

Your local Commercial Account Executive has an in-depth understanding of the insurance market in your area and will arrange a face-to-face appointment with you, taking the time to thoroughly understand your business and its specific requirements.

We cater for most types of business - from small start-ups to well-established organisations, comparing quotes from leading UK insurers to find you the right level of insurance, at the right price.

What's more, our award-winning offering has over 70,000 business customers - and we're growing fast.

Visit http://www.swinton.co.uk/commercial/ for more information or call 0800 995 1800.

Contact Information