The Ladder Association is the UK’s leading trade association for the ladder industry. Each year, they hold a conference to discuss the latest industry changes and how they will affect ladder users. This year’s conference is being held in Stratford Upon Avon. The main speakers include Paul Cook of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Michael Kearney of the Office for Product Safety & Standards, Sara Cartin of the Home Builders Federation (HBF), Don Aers Technical Manager, Ladder Association, and Chairman of the BSI B512 ladder standards technical committee, John Darby, General Manager of the Test & Research Centre and Hannah Williams of the No Falls Foundation. There will be an exhibition area featuring some of the latest products and services from leading suppliers in the ladder industry, including TB Davies, who will have their latest products available on display. If you’re planning on attending this year’s conference, here are a few things you can expect.
An Update on Ladder Guidance
One of the main topics of discussion at this year’s Ladder Association Conference will be an update on ladder guidance. In particular, Paul Cook of the HSE will discuss the ongoing collaboration between the HSE and the Ladder Association, including recent updates to their guidance on ladders and stepladders – both in the updated LA 455 (formerly INDG 455) and on their website.
Product Recalls: Why They Happen and How to Avoid Them
Another topic that will be covered at this year’s conference is product recalls. Michael Kearney of the Office for Product Safety & Standards will give a presentation on this topic. He’ll discuss why product recalls happen and how manufacturers can avoid them. He’ll also share some case studies of recent recalls so we can learn from other companies’ mistakes.
Collaborating on Practical Guidance to Improve Safety
Sara Cartin of the House Builders Federation will give a presentation on ladder safety in the construction industry. In 2019/20, ladder incidents accounted for 33% of all fall-from-height incidents reported by HBF members through RIDDOR. Despite a year-on-year reduction, there is still more to be done. Sara will give an insight into the recent collaborative work with the Ladder Association and Access Industry Forum in producing practical guidance to help reduce falls from ladders.
B2 or not B2 – That is the Question
Don Aers of the Ladder Association will discuss the revision of EN 131 (the European design standard for portable ladders) in 2015, which resulted in a dimensional change to all types of leaning ladders. The change, referred to in the ladder industry as the B2 dimension, has been a hot topic for debate since its introduction. These speakers will be talking about ladder safety, recent changes to ladder standards, and how to stay compliant with the law.
Telescopic Ladder Surveillance Work with Trading Standards
John Darby, General Manager of the Test & Research Centre, will present the research and testing of a sample of telescopic ladders (obtained online and in-store) that showed that 4 out of 5 of the ladders tested failed the required safety tests designed to keep users safe.
John will give an insight into the market surveillance study, commissioned by the Ladder Association in partnership with Trading Standards, and show just what’s involved in the rigorous product testing.
No Falls Foundation Raising Awareness
And finally, Hannah Williams of the No Falls Foundation will talk about the charity’s work to raise awareness on preventing falls from height.
This year’s Ladder Association Conference promises to be eventful, with plenty of relevant topics on the agenda. If you are responsible for using ladders and steps or working at height in your industry, it’s worth attending to stay up-to-date on all the latest changes in regulations and standards.
Register today to take part in this year’s conference.