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Dexters NZ Ltd is New Zealand's leading supplier of materials handling and safety products in the workplace, and this month the emphasis is on platform ladders. There has been a push on these, both in the construction and warehousing/retail industries due to traditional step ladders not providing enough stability when accessing heights.
Selecting and operating the right equipment for working at height is an important part of managing a safe worksite. Generally saw horses or saw horses with planks are not recognised as suitable work platforms, as they have not been designed for this purpose. The exception to this rule would be if the equipment was purposely designed and manufactured for this use and meets a relevant Standard.
Ladders should only be used for low-risk and short-duration tasks, and three points of contact should always be maintained to prevent a person slipping and falling.
Preventing falls from height is a priority for the Department of Labour and it expects that work at height is actively managed so that people are not harmed.
Investigations by the Department of Labour into falls while working at height show that more than 50 percent of falls are from less than three metres and approximately 70 percent of falls are from ladders and roofs. The cost of these falls is estimated to be $24 million a year—to say nothing of the human cost as a result of these falls.
Factors contributing to injuries sustained from working at height include suitable equipment being available. Dexters NZ have a wide variety of platform ladders, including Order Picking and Heavy Duty Maintenance Platforms – ideal for accessing stock, maintenance workshops and general storage access, Platform Step Ladders – ideal for accessing storage in small stock rooms, and general maintenance and building task, and their New Telescopic Platform Ladder – ideal for builders and maintenance teams for variable height applications.