Ladder safety is regularly in the news here in the UK so at Safety Fabrications we keep fully up to date with what’s going on in the world of ladders so that we can provide our readers with a regular news roundup blog for safety ladders. Once a month, one of our blog posts deals with news stories from the past month that feature ladders of any kind. It would be interesting to know what you, the readers, think of the stories that feature here. Please join in by adding your comments to our Facebook Page or on Twitter.
Our first item, with Christmas fast approaching, is a warning to householders about staying safe this year when putting up the Christmas tree, fairy lights (inside or outside) and other decorations. We know that Christmas is the time of year when A&E departments across the land treat an increased number of patients who have fallen from ladders, chairs, tables, etc. More on this next week, so look out for our advice on how to stay safe when putting up the Christmas decorations.
Meanwhile neighbours in Llanelli have been praised for rescuing a disabled man when fire stormed through the two storey property where he lived. Grant Francis was trapped in the living room of his upstairs flat when fire took hold restricting access to the staircase. Quick-thinking neighbours alerted him to the fire and then helped him escape through the living room window with the help of a ladder.
Another “ladder to the rescue” story Took place at the Ludham Bridge which spans the River Ant in Norfolk. An 85 year old man fell into the water between a boat and the quay at the Environment Agency’s public moorings while trying to get back on to a hired day cruiser. Two families on a passing cruiser responded to calls for help and assisted the two companions of the elderly gentleman in rescuing him from the water. The rescue took at least ten minutes and the gentleman’s son has called on the Environment Agency to install chains and ladders on that side, insisting the organisations has a duty of care to do so.
Swindon Stitch and Bitch, a local knitting group made a poppy cloak for the statue of Brunel in Swindon town centre in order to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. However, when it came to fitting the cloak onto the statue, they were scuppered due to health and safety regulations which prevented them from using ladders to put the cloak onto the 6ft statue which is on top of an 8ft column! The cloak was eventually fitted with the help of a cherry-picker, a much safer option than a ladder for the task at hand.
And, last of all, some amazing photos have been discovered of the construction of the lighthouse at the foot of Beachy Head cliffs in East Sussex. The lighthouse was built before the days of stringent health and safety legislation and involved lowering huge blocks of granite 500ft down from the cliff tops. Some of the photos show the engineers and workers accessing the base of the cliffs via rickety ladders fixed to the sheer cliff face! They’re not for the faint-hearted, but it’s really interesting to see how we used to work here in Britain before health and safety “went mad” – you can have a look at them here.