Welcome to Sitecraft’s huge range of Access Equipment, including Ladders, Platforms and Scaffolds. Sitecraft offers an extensive range of ladders for sale. But, it is important to us that you buy the correct ladder to suit your specific needs or application. The following information about ladders is designed to help you select and buy the correct type of commercial or industrial ladder. First, it is important to understand that there are many different types of ladders. These include: Industrial Ladders, Platform Ladders, Warehouse Ladders, Step Ladders, A Frame Ladders, Fibreglass Ladders, Mezzanine Ladders, Extension Ladders and Stock Picking Ladders (commonly called Stock Pickers), as well as Powered Stock Pickers.
Ladders are among the most commonly used pieces of equipment. But too many people fail to follow the basic rules for using a ladder. It is a major concern for Australia’s safety regulators who see the aftermath of incidents at workplaces involving unsafe ladder use.
The problem for leading regulators such as WorkSafe Victoria or SafeWork NSW is gravity, or to use OHS safety jargon “preventing falls” when “working at height”.
The Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 refer to ladders in the context of preventing a fall under their respective Physical Hazards chapter (Part 3.3 – Prevention of Falls) and Hazardous Work Chapter (Part 4.4 – Falls).
Falls prevention is an enforcement priority for all safety regulators because unsafe use of ladders – whether that be the wrong ladder, incorrect set up or work that is unsafe on a ladder – account for many injuries and deaths. According to SafeWork Australia, the Federal Government’s workplace safety policy body, falls make up 11 per cent of all injuries in Australian workplaces. In the construction industry falls are responsible for 27 per cent of all worker deaths.
In OHS terms, ladders are “plant” which is “any machinery, equipment, appliance and tool, and any part of it and anything attached to it”. General safety laws require a safe system of work in place when “plant” is used at a workplace. In practical terms ladders are height access or working at height equipment as diverse as step ladders, extension ladders, platform step ladders, warehouse ladders, work platforms, maintenance platforms, mobile scaffolds, safety platforms and access ladders.
OHS regulators specify what employers must do when using specific work plant that is a known risk, such as ladders. This is what their inspectors expect to see when they visit workplaces. If it is a construction site, working at height is classified as “high risk construction work”. That type of work, which often involves a ladder, requires a safe workstatement method which must be provided to an inspector to explain that the ladder is the best option for the work and set out how the work is to be done safely.
Ladders are mentioned in the Victorian “falls prevention” regulations under “control of risk” where a “fixed or portable ladder” may be used where “safer” options are not feasible – safer meaning a passive fall prevention device, a work positioning system or fall arrest system. These regulations say that if a ladder has to be used it must be fit for purpose, appropriate for the task and set up correctly. In OHS terms “fit for purpose” means an industrial model that has been built to a recognised industry standard, made from robust materials and is not likely to buckle, twist or break when used as designed.
Safety regulators prefer fall prevention devices be used eg scaffolds or elevating work platforms. Their view is ladders are for temporary “height access” and because they can be unstable, should only be worked off if a “safer” solution for short term work is not practical. By “work” regulators mean light work where reducing grip, losing balance or dislodging the ladder is less likely.
The NSW regulation, which is similar to what applies in most states and territory safety laws, even avoids mentioning ladders in law. Under “fall arrest”” system, there is a list of examples in order of effectiveness in preventing falls, the last one of which includes “safe used of ladders”.
But regulators have a legal duty to spell out practical safety advice where this is required. This advice is found in approved codes of practice made under the various Acts and a range of simple documents of lesser legal status for different audiences that are freely available.
More recent advice on falls is found in the national codes of practice adopted by NSW and most other jurisdictions. NSW’s Managing the risk of falls at workplaces 2015 has a section on portable and fixed ladders. It covers the golden rules of selection, position and safe use in detail. WorkSafe Victoria has similar advice for the construction industry in its 2008 compliance codes for housing work and general construction work.
All these codes reference the Australian standards developed by industry and the safety community – AS/NZS 1892 Portable ladders (a series) and AS/NZS 1657 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders – Design, construction and installation.
Durability You Can Rely On
At Sitecraft, you’ll find heavy-duty industrial ladders for sale for just about any need. Looking for a step ladder for your truck or commercial vehicle? Bailey aluminium platform step ladders are designed to withstand the tough and demanding conditions of the manufacturing and construction sector. These fully welded ladders are constructed from lightweight aluminium for durability and feature a wide and stable work platform. The 900 mm high handrail ensures conformity with requirements for temporary work platforms while providing added safety and security.
These industrial platform ladders are manufactured in Australia for local conditions and conform to AS/NZS 1892.1 Bailey also offers these in fibreglass construction, ideal for electrical contractors as a result of the fibreglass frame providing an electrically safe non-conductive work surface. An optional spring loaded castor kit is also available from Sitecraft for situations requiring mobility, and can be fitted to both aluminium and fibreglass models.
Our maintenance and work platforms are made of high-tensile, construction-grade aluminium, making them lightweight, corrosion free and highly durable. These customised and versatile work platforms are ideal for use in maintenance operations within the mining, civil, defence, aviation and manufacturing sectors. These are widely used in maintenance operations, as well as for access to heavy construction equipment, trains and trucks, aircraft and helicopters, and construction projects.
Our step ladders and stools are widely used in stores, warehouses and retail applications. Our range includes safety steps, aluminium step stools, and more.
Our range of access equipment and mezzanine access ladders provides you with superior solutions at a reasonable price. Sitecraft has three warehouses in Australia and provides service to all major centres including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.