Is it allowed to be on a ladder with both hands occupied on bulb changing?
The height is about 60-70 sm and one guy stands near the ladder to secure.
I have faced with this question many times and I have been forced to stop the job.
I need your suggestion.
The question above was originally posed via our Ask A Guru feature and this response from 2005 was by either Dave Carr or Michael Stokes.
In a word, it is NOT acceptable to use both hands for an activity whilst standing on a ladder; the 'new' Working at Height Regulations reinforces this.
When working from a ladder, 3 points of contact with the ladder must be achieved at all times.
I disagree... If the ladder is suitable in height the three points of contact could for example be, each foot and the chest/stomach or the person using it. In this manner balance is maintained and if the ladder is positioned safety in the right manner I consider that this would be perfectly safe... the problems arise when the ladder is not suitable, improperly positioned or used and persons lean off to one or either side and overbalance.
Safe and sensible working can always be achieved... simply to say it is not acceptable and 'banning it' is what causes H&S to become a joke...
The Ladder Association states that the three points of contact when working on a ladder should be the maintained using the hands and feet.
At the working position both feet should be on the same rung or tread.
The Health and Safety Executives guidance INDG 402 specifies that on a leaning ladder where you cannot maintain a handhold, other than for a brief period of time, other measures will be needed to prevent a fall or reduce the consequences of one.
On stepladders where a handhold is not practicable (e.g. when changing a light bulb) then a risk assessment with consideration to certain key factors will have to justify whether it is safe or not to carry out the task using a stepladder. The attached document lists the factors that should be considered in such a risk assessment.
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