Ladders are used in most households for a range of jobs from DIY to changing lightbulbs; however, if the ladder is not in good condition or is used unsafely, falls can occur and cause fractured limbs, spinal cord damage, severe brain injury or death.
Standards Australia has just published a revised standard AS 1895.2:2020 Portable ladders which provides minimum requirements and recommended safe practices for the selection, use and maintenance of portable ladders in order to minimize the risks for those who use or work with or are near portable ladders.
On average 4.5 Australians, mainly men, die each year after falling from a ladder, see the ACCC Ladder safety videos of stories by people who have fallen off ladders, their recovery process and how the fall changed their lives.
Most men injured or killed after falling from a ladder were at or nearing retirement age and were doing maintenance around the home – read more about this on the Product Safety Australia website which includes buying and safety tips.
The information in the standard will assist suppliers in providing relevant safe use information which applies to every user and those that are developing safe use information for ladder use.
The Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) advocates in the interests of Australian consumers and supports a CFA consumer representative to participate on the Standards Australia Technical Committee (SF-034) which revised this standard.
The major changes to the revision include a significant update of general recommendations common to portable ladders, additional safety information as well as recommendations for trestle ladders and fall arrest equipment. This Standard is Part 5 in a series of Standards covering the safe design, manufacture and use of portable ladders.