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Ladder exchange climbs the agenda with Speedy

Speedy has teamed up with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as part of its annual campaign to reduce the number of accidents caused by unsafe ladders. Speedy - which operates 400 depots across the UK and Ireland - is offering to trade in old or damaged ladders in part-exchange for alternative, safer equipment.

The pledge is part of a UK-wide Ladder Exchange designed to drive down the number of deaths and injuries caused by faulty equipment. From 1 September, the HSE and local authority enforcement officers will be checking ladders as part of their visits, which could see dodgy ladders being confiscated.

Peter Brown HSE Head of Work Environment, Radiation and Gas Division said: "In 2007/08, 58 workers died and over 3600 were seriously injured as a result of a fall from height in the workplace. Over a quarter of these incidents involved ladders.

"We want anyone working at height to use the right ladder for the job and to use it safely. Ladder Exchange is the perfect opportunity for businesses to assess the risks involved in using ladders and to adopt sensible health and safety measures."

Following the success of previous campaigns, which have seen more than 5000 ladders exchanged, from 1 September Speedy will be offering to exchange old and faulty ladders at its access depots and will be offering a discount of up to 50 percent on ladders and stepladders certified to BSEN131 or BS2037. Wherever possible, any ladders that do not pass inspection will be recycled.

Staff at Speedy's access branches can also offer advice on the extensive range of equipment available.

Free HSE approved Working at Height packs, containing a users pocket guide and A4 sized supervisors guide are available for download from or by calling Customer Services on 0845 601 5129. Also available from Customer Services is a free new low level access guide.

Mark Turnbull, safety, health, environment and quality director at Speedy said: "Statistics from the HSE demonstrate the need for more safety awareness when working at height - incidents and injuries from last year are estimated to have cost the economy over 60 million.

"We have made significant advances in our health and safety measures through our award-winning Safety from the Ground Up campaign, which raises awareness of the risks to workers so that work may be carried out more safely, and by making continual investment in equipment.

"Our aim is to design safety into our systems and procedures and we're committed to working closely with the HSE, major contractors, manufacturers and trade bodies to champion improvement and adherence to new legislation."

The ladder exchange will be running from 1 September and the discount is valid at participating Speedy access depots until end December 2009.