Peter Brown (HSE) joined by Craig Phillips (of Craig Phillips Building Skills Centre and Big Brother) and HSE partners at the 2009 Ladder Exchange Initiative Launch in Liverpool.

Ladder exchange is step in the right direction

Published:  12 March, 2010

UK: Nearly 7000 'dodgy' ladders have been surrendered in the three years the Health and Safety Executive has been running the ladder exchange initiative.

The campaign gives workers the opportunity to get rid of old, damaged and broken ladders and trade them in for new ones at a discounted price.

In the most recent campaign, HSE's partners were inundated with a variety of precarious ladders with missing rungs, bent sides.

HSE is working with industry to ensure that anyone involved in working at height uses the right equipment for the job and uses it safely. Throughout the campaign HSE and local authority inspectors include ladder checks as part of their routine inspections and encourage people with faulty or damaged ladders to exchange them for new ones.

Falls from ladders account for over a quarter of all fall accidents in this country and this is sometimes down to misuse but often due to ladders not being fit for purpose.

In 2008-09 a total of 35 workers died and over 4000 employees suffered major injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. Many of these incidents could be avoided by using the right equipment and taking simple precautions.

Craig Phillips, celebrity builder and winner of TV's Big Brother launched the third phase of the campaign last September, he said: "It is brilliant to have been involved in promoting such a worthwhile initiative to help reduce ladder accidents. From working in the building industry for over 20 years, I know how important it is to have safe and suitable equipment at all times on building sites."

The Ladder Exchange Initiative 2009 has now closed. For details of how to support this annual Initiative, Dave Arden on 0151 951 4959 or email him at

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