Myth: HSE has banned stepladders

Cartoon of man climbing a stepladder to replace a lightbulb.

The right wing press have, and will continue to, run stories about the absurdity of ‘Health & Safety Gone Mad’   This against a backdrop of cuts for the Health & Safety Executives budget and reduced numbers of inspectors and therefore inspections.

This branch regard the Health and Safety at work Act as a key piece of legislation fought long and hard for by the Trade Union Movement, and as we move towards the TUC National Inspection day on the 22nd October we will raise the profile of this massively Important Act

The reality

The HSE have not banned stepladders – nor have they banned ladders! Despite this, the allegation is regularly repeated and some firms have fallen for the myth and acted upon it.

For straightforward, short duration work stepladders and ladders can be a good option, but you wouldn’t want to be wobbling about on them doing complex tasks for long periods. A large number of workers are seriously injured or killed using ladders and stepladders each year. So:

  • Yes – We want people to use the right equipment for the job.
  • Yes – there are some common-sense rules for using them safely.
  • But no – the HSE have not banned them!

If you would like to get involved in helping to create and maintain a safe workplace then contact