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7,000 dodgy ladders given up through HSE amnesty scheme

12 Mar 10 Nearly 7000 'dodgy' ladders have been surrendered in the three years the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been running its ladder exchange initiative.

Nearly 7000 'dodgy' ladders have been surrendered in the three years the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been running its ladder exchange initiative.

The campaign gives companies the opportunity to get rid of old, damaged and broken ladders, and trade them in for new ones at a discounted price.

In the most recent campaign, HSE's partners on the scheme – chiefly trade bodies – were inundated with a variety of precarious ladders with missing rungs, bent sides and ladders that are clearly not up to the job anymore.

HSE is working with industry to ensure that anyone involved in working at height uses the right equipment for the job and uses it safely.

Throughout the campaign HSE and local authority inspectors include ladder checks as part of their routine inspections and encourage people with faulty or damaged ladders to exchange them for new ones.

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Geoffrey Podger, HSE chief executive said: "The ladder exchange has proved a real success. We have exchanged nearly 7000 old ladders for new ones over the last three years and we are hoping to trade even more when the ladder exchange initiative returns later this year.

"If you take a chance with 'dodgy' ladders you are risking your life. Every month more than 100 people fall off a ladder at work and suffer serious injuries. So many of these accidents are avoidable and having safe equipment makes a huge difference."

Falls from ladders account for over a quarter of all fall accidents in this country and this is sometimes down to misuse but often due to ladders not being fit for purpose.

Craig Phillips, celebrity builder and winner of TV's Big Brother, who launched the third phase of the campaign in September, said: "It is brilliant to have been involved in promoting such a worthwhile initiative to help reduce ladder accidents. From working in the building industry for over 20 years, I know how important it is to have safe and suitable equipment at all times on building sites."

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