A Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) myth buster panel has reviewed how an electrician working on a shop floor of a factory was told by a health and safety consultant that they needed a person to foot the stepladder they were using. This was not a requirement in the company’s risk assessment or method statement for working on a stepladder and the electrician felt it was an ‘over the top’ approach and inappropriately handled.

The panels decision said the complainant appears to have been working to the requirements of the agreed risk assessment and the method statement. The health and safety consultant should have taken up his concern with the dutyholder rather than challenging the contractor on the shop floor. Footing of ladders is usually regarded as a last resort and if adequate other measures were in place footing would have been an unnecessary “over the top” requirement.

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