The UK's occupational safety agency has kicked off its third annual Ladder Exchange, an initiative mounted with manufacturers and retailers to remove unsafe ladders from workplaces.
The three-month Ladder Exchange Initiative 2010 allows businesses to replace broken, damaged or bent ladders and trade them in for new ones at a discount. The program began Sept. 1 and runs until Nov. 30.
Since the program’s launch in 2007, Ladder Exchange has resulted in nearly 7,000 unsafe ladders being removed from use, according to the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
The campaign is a joint effort of HSE, Local Government Regulation, and the UK’s Ladder Association, which represents manufacturers. Ten manufacturers and retailers are participating in this year’s Exchange.
The Ladder Exchange is part of HSE’s broader enforcement, research and educational initiatives to prevent falls from heights, the leading cause of fatal workplace accidents in the UK and in the U.S. construction industry.
The campaign against falls is one of HSE’s three 10-year Priority Programs to reduce fatal and major accidents in the workplace. The other programs target slips and trips, the most common cause of major injury in the workplace; and work vehicle accidents, a frequent cause of fatal and major accidents, according to HSE.
The American Ladder Institute does not have a ladder exchange program, but the association may discuss the idea at its Fall Conference next month in San Diego, said executive director Janet Rapp.
In addition to representing North American manufacturers of ladders and ladder components, ALI is the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved developer of ladder safety standards.