Myths of the Workplace

Myths of the Workplace

The ban of using ladders on building sites by HSE

This is not true; ladders can and are used in short heights as a practical option. Ladders are used when the use of other equipment and machinery is not allowed or justified. Ladders are a better option especially where the duration of work is short for example less than 30 minutes. Another reason why using of ladders is justified is instances in which the features of the workplace or site need not to be changed. For example if the construction activities is already finished there will be no need to alter the building in order to start painting.

Formal qualification before using a ladder in the workplace

HSE does not require any competence for someone to make use of a ladder. However, it’s necessary that the user has to be competent. Competency means that the individual employ has the necessary skills and knowledge on how to use a ladder effectively to avoid any risks involved during the course of work. If the user is a trainee he /she has to work under someone who is competent to avoid making grievous mistakes. Training can be carried out on site and does not necessary need a classroom to be effective but is hands on skill. It is also important that the trainee can learn to apply the skills gained from the training.

Walking up and down on staircase at work is working on heights.

It isn’t true. Walking up and down a staircase does not imply you are working with heights .Therefore work at height in a work site does not involve walking on a staircase. This includes using an escalator that goes up or down in the site does not fall under the category of heights.

Requirements in order to use a ladder is having two legs and one hand

This is false regarding the use of ladder in workplace or construction site. When both hands are involved is for example when putting a box on a shelf or hanging a wallpaper or in some instances when installing a smoke detector on a ceiling. Three points are maintained in contact during the work activity and this ensures you are in a working position while also ensuring you are stable and won’t fall off the ladder. In order to ensure stability it’s necessary to ensure a handhold is present to steady oneself before and after during making use of a ladder.

HSE has banned use of ladders to gain access to scaffolds.

There is also this rumor circulating that HSE has banned the use of ladders to access scaffolds and anyone who will found using them will be fined. This is not true concerning the information that was passed, since ladders can be used for access as long as they are the correct and recommended type. The recommended ladders involve well secured and in workable condition ladder to prevent movement. It’s also necessary to ensure that they extend at least a meter above the contact point to enable safe hand hold when stepping off.

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