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Safety on site: Carrying out ladder safety audits and inspections

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Ladders are an important fixture in any industrial or commercial environment and widely used by employees working at height.

Similar to any equipment, ladders will face wear and damage over a period of time, posing a risk to the user’s physical safety. Ladder inspections at regular scheduled intervals will identify any damage or shortcoming, enabling rectification and repair.

The Australian Standard governing the use of portable and fixed ladders (AS-1892) requires ladder inspections to be carried out periodically to ensure safety for the user. Regular and timely ladder inspections can and will prevent injury to workers while assisting the company comply with OH&S legislations.

All ladders should be inspected at regular intervals when not in use and a visual safety inspection should preferably be conducted before each use.

Statistics from the United States of America and Australia on injuries caused by faulty ladders indicate that more than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment for ladder-related injuries every year in the USA; elevated falls account for over 500 occupational deaths annually; ladder-related injuries have increased 50% over the last 10 years; and the most common type of ladder-related injury, accounting for 32%, is fracture.

A ladder inspection application is a fast and effective method of managing ladder inspections and ensuring ladders are safe within the work environment. Conducting an inspection digitally not only helps to identify hazards and create a safe environment at the workplace, but also reduces cost and downtime while also saving paper.

The ladder inspection application can be operated using a mobile device such as iPhone, iPad or tablet, with device features including camera, touch screen and speech to text capabilities helping to save time in recording the inspection findings and managing the required corrective actions.

The ladder inspection application can make the reference material (e.g. AS-1892) available on the device. The safety inspector can also access past inspections results, instructions, images and user manuals to assist with recording new findings and recommending the safest course of action.

Ladder inspection apps should ideally be easy to use, intuitive and available on all mobile platforms (iOS and Android).

Techs4Biz Australia offers Pervidi products, which combine service management, asset management, maintenance management and inspection management functionalities to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs.

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