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Wed November 25 2020

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Fatal ladder fall prompts safety warning

22 Jan 14 The death of a Devon man after falling just seven feet from an ordinary ladder has prompted a warning from the Ladder Association about the importance of training.

Courses in using ladders are widely mocked as statements of the bleedin’ obvious but the death of Alan Beutner – a 58-year-old father of three – has shown that regular training is important.

Mr Beutner’s employer was prosecuted last week under the Work at Height Regulations and fined £2,000 with £5,000 costs. [See our report of the case here.]

“Ladders and stepladders are invaluable pieces of workplace equipment used by millions of people every day,” said the Ladder Association. “However, like all pieces of access equipment, they must be used safely and competently.

"Training is the most important tool to help reduce accidents of this type. It makes sure that everyone has the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their work safely, including knowing the right type of ladder to use for a specific task."

The association added: “Ladder users, and those responsible for supervising their work, need to be properly trained in knowing how to manage the risks effectively. If it’s right to use a ladder, it’s important to use the right ladder and to get trained to use it safely. Otherwise, in extreme cases, it can result in a tragic loss of life with shattering consequences for family, friends and colleagues.”

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