Ladders and stepladders are commonly used in churches. They are a practical option for low-risk tasks and there is no ban on their use. However, they must be used with caution.
Tips and advice on preventing falls when working at height.
In many churches, there are a number of everyday tasks that involve working or gaining access at height, and as such, pose a risk of serious injury from falls to those involved. Thankfully, these are not common in a church, but where they do happen, many have resulted in injuries that have been permanently disabling. Usually, these have involved falling from ladders and stepladders or through fragile materials.
Falls can also occur from raised, open edges (e.g. in galleries, triforia or external walls) that are not adequately protected by handrails or other features (e.g. balustrades). Sometimes, they can also occur during roof work or where temporary work platforms are used (e.g. scaffolds and mobile access towers).
Because injuries resulting from falls from height can be serious, it is important that any work or access is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment.
As a first step, it is sensible to identify where work or access at height is required in your church.
Either as an employer, or someone who has control of this work completed by others, you may then need to:
You should only use ladders where their use is justified because of the low risk and either the work is of short duration, or there are existing features at your church that cannot be altered.
In some situations you may also need to: