SAFELY USING A LADDER BRACKET
The following procedure will show you how to safely access the roof using a ladder bracket with an anchor point and a fall arrest strop.
Often the majority of falls at a workplace are from a ladder. Therefore it is vital that correct procedures are followed.
When accessing a roof via a ladder bracket that has a fall arrest strop, it is important that you understand how to safely use the system. This information can be found in the on-site procedure manual. As part of reviewing the manual you must also ensure that the system has been inspected and certified within the last 12 months.
Firstly inspect your ladder and ensure that it is in good condition and is the correct ladder for accessing the roof.
When setting up the ladder, ensure that the ladder extends past the roof by at least one metre and is at an angle of four to one. This means for every four metres of vertical height the ladder will angle out away from the building by one metre.
Ensure that the ladder legs are on a flat, stable and non-slip surface.
To use a ladder bracket and strop entry point you must have the following equipment:
- Full body fall arrest harness
- 600mm personal shock absorber
- Climbing helmet
- Rescue equipment
As the strop is a fall arrest system you must always have at least two workers present when climbing the ladder. Both must be trained in rescue and have appropriate rescue equipment at the location.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
After completing the required checks of your equipment, fit your harness and helmet. Then attach the 600mm shock absorber to your front D-Ring. While maintaining three points of contact, begin to climb the ladder. Once reaching the roof edge, stop and balance yourself.
While maintaining three points of contact, attach your shock absorber to the strop cable.
Continue to climb the ladder until you reach the top. Ensure the step off point is clear, free from debris, and is not wet or slippery.
Step onto the roof and immediately in and away from the edge.
EXITING THE ROOF
To exit the roof, attach yourself to the strop via your shock absorber and move to the ladder. Carefully take hold of the ladder with both hands and step down onto the first tread. Ensure you balance yourself on the ladder before you begin your descent, maintaining three points of contact at all times. Once your chest reaches the roof edge, stop and disconnect from the strop. Continue to move safely down the ladder.
Always remember that it is your responsibility to ensure you are entering and exiting the roof safely. Never rush or try to shortcut this procedure. An anchor and strop is not a fall prevention system, it is a fall arrest system which in the event of a slip will arrest your fall. While this system will prevent you from hitting the ground, it is likely that you will sustain injuries as the strop arrests your fall. You will also require rescuing. Therefore it is vital that when using this system that you follow the procedures correctly and are entirely focused upon your safety.