Professional ladder inspection protects workers and company resources

Weilheim, 10 December 2018 – Accident statistics show that injuries are almost bound to happen whenever ladders are not used properly or do not stand up to work-related requirements. According to BG BAU (German statutory accident insurance for the building industry), ladder instability alone accounts for almost 90 per cent of accidents involving ladders in 2017. Having ladders professionally inspected on a regular basis is an effective method of preventing falls and injuries. As a specialist in access, packaging and transportation, and special constructions, ZARGES has comprehensive expertise in safety and advises companies on how to successfully prevent accidents in the long run as well as on things to take note of.

Every single work-related accident should be taken seriously by everyone involved: for a company, the absence of an employee could mean a significant labour shortage that the rest of the employees have to compensate for. Otherwise, the company may face financial losses in the form of lost orders or even penalty payments. In this regard, properly performing the required ladder inspection can help to effectively prevent accidents. Occupational safety regulations even require all companies to have their access systems periodically inspected by qualified persons. To become a qualified inspector, a person has to complete a training course at TÜV, an occupational insurance association or a ladder manufacturer. Occupational insurance associations and certification authorities check if the requirements have been adhered to. The frequency of inspection depends on how often the ladders, step stools, fixed ladders, mobile scaffold towers and special constructions in question are used. Other factors include the stress a product is subject to during use as well as the frequency and severity of previously found defects.

Use a checklist to get conclusive inspection results
The ladder inspection begins with a visual and functional inspection of each ladder. This involves the inspector working through a detailed ladder control sheet to ensure that all rungs are securely attached and that all screws and nuts do not come loose on their own. The inspector also checks the slip resistance of ladder feet and ensures that there are neither missing parts nor sharp edges nor severe signs of wear anywhere on a ladder. To fulfil the documentation requirements set out in the regulations, the inspector has to record the inspection result on a control sheet for every ladder. After the inspection, an inspection plate (or a label indicating the ladder is out of order, if necessary) shall be affixed to the ladder in a prominent position. Defective ladders must be removed from use until they have been repaired and restored to proper working order. By performing ladder inspection properly, companies can remove sources of hazard in a timely manner and therefore be on the safe side in terms of occupational safety.

"As an established provider of ladders and other access solutions, we have comprehensive expertise in safety and accident prevention," says ZARGES Product Manager Höbke Thomssen. "It is therefore especially important to us that we provide companies with comprehensive advice on occupational safety and support them as much as possible in this regard. In addition, our customers can also have their ladders inspected by our specialists right at their location.

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Through the ZARGES Academy, the specialist in access, packaging and transportation, and special constructions, offers professional courses that train participants to become qualified inspectors. ZARGES uses the training courses to equip its customers' employees with the capacity to be appointed a qualified person for inspecting ladders and mobile scaffold towers. This will allow the customers to perform access equipment inspection themselves in future.

The professional seminar is accredited by Verband für Sicherheit, Gesundheit und Umweltschutz bei der Arbeit [Association for Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Protection] and authorised to award two further education points. It therefore qualifies as further training for occupational safety specialists in accordance with Section 5, Sentence 3 of the German Occupational Safety Act [ASiG]. Every year, around 1,200 participants attend the ZARGES Academy.

You can find more information on the courses offered by the ZARGES Academy at: www.zarges.com/en/services/seminars-trainings