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#1 Posted : 21 April 2021 13:31:59(UTC)
Rank: New forum user


Apologies if this has been covered previously. I am currently looking into the requirement for fall arrest (twin lanyard technique) to be utilised when climbing hooped ladders. I've read the HSEs view in that the hoops themselves may not provide effective protection and that the hoops may interfere with the effectiveness of the fall arrest equipment.  No definitive answer as usual :-) My view at the moment, is that for low height / low use access, a hooped ladder can be used without additional fall protection equipment, provided there are no other hazards that may come into effect, such as close proximity to a parapet wall for example. I would be grateful for anyone else's thoughts on this, and whether it is possible to specify a height where fall protection should be worn on a hooped ladder, say over a height of 3m, 4m etc.

Thanks in advance!

#2 Posted : 22 April 2021 07:31:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

It has come up before and as you say - no definitive answers.

However, in practice, if it's fairly low and rarely used I would use a hooped ladder.  I don't have a cite for any guiidance that actually says that, however.

Ron Hunter  
#3 Posted : 29 April 2021 14:18:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ron Hunter

I don't have access to the relevant standard (BS 4211) however the people who should know (ladder manufacturers) suggest that any fixed vertical ladder above 10 metres must have a rest platform (over and above a hooped cage) every 6 metres - usually achieved by offsetting the vertical sections. I'm taking this from a particular manufacturer's site - I have no connection with or direct interest in that company - and my assumption is that this reflects the BS requirements.

Search for this: Document Reference: FixedVerticalLadders160728.pdf

I think it important too to refer to these as 'caged ladders'  as the hoops should be retained by vertical members to be BS compliant. I also understand that the latest BS ups the number of vertical straps from 3 to 5. There are some older "Dibnah" style ladders out there still with just the hoops.

This safety Bulletin is a bit long in the tooth but I believe the info. is current:

Hooped ladders and the use of personal fall-arrest systems (hse.gov.uk)

Beware commissioned Research Reports (258, 657) which HSE disown.

Given that there is widespread acceptance that injury is likely from a fall within a caged ladder even when fall arrest is employed, the risk assessment of a rescue operation from a cage is going to be problematic!

From all the above, I suggest a maximum vertical height of 10m from ground to a landing platform for any caged ladder - irrespective of use of fall arrest.

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