|Ladder and scaffolding safety|
Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists, ATLAS' Safety Committee is carrying out accurate safety tests on ladders and modular scaffold frames to improve practical knowledge about the equipment used and its safety limitations.
At present, most technical documentation on ladders and scaffolding safety is based on assumptions without practical tests.
Graeme Fisher, president of ATLAS commented: "There really is no substitute for practical testing of all equipment where peoples' lives are at stake'.
ATLAS was assisted by Helped by Horizon International, Delta International, Proteq and Church Conservation.
Testing included a drop test using 100kg weights to measure the effect of a severe fall arrest.
Ladders with anchors from various manufacturers, made from both wood and aluminium were tested in accordance with EN 975 regulations.
All the ladders withstood the drop test with no damage or degradation to the equipment.
ATLAS also tested modular scaffolding frames to confirm anchor safety during installation.
They found that many companies used a second wall bracket as an additional safety measure which actually produces an overstress on the frame and increases the risk of collapsing.
Further tests on three scaffold structures showed that once ATLAS had revised the positioning of the wall bracket, a load of 5 tonnes could be imposed without any deformation.
The ATLAS Safety Committee has developed a technical solution to address the issues raised by the tests.
This information will be available to all member companies and non members.