'Dodgy' ladders to be ditched

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it will use a 'ladder exchange' scheme to replace 4,000 'dodgy' ladders from workplaces across Britain and Northern Ireland.

This news could mean that solicitors see fewer people who have injured themselves from falling from a wobbly ladder, as currently nearly 100 employees a month fall off a ladder at work.

In 2005 to 2006 alone researched statistics show that 3,351 workers incurred major injuries after falling from a ladder at the workplace and 46 people actually died.

Over the next three months, small businesses will be able to get their stock of ladders safety-tested and any that are found to be dangerous can be exchanged for new ladders at a discount.

Currently, the injuries caused by workers falling from ladders cost the economy around £60 million every year.

Dr Elizabeth Gibby, HSE's head of injuries reduction programme, said: "We want anyone working at height to use the right ladder for the job and to use it safely. Ladder Exchange is 'the' opportunity for small trade businesses to assess the risks involved in ladder use and adopt sensible health and safety measures.

"There is still a lot of poor standard equipment out there and we will do everything it takes to educate people and get rid of 'dodgy' ladders from workplaces. Simple precautions can save lives and help prevent injuries."

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