LEADERS IN FALL PREVENTION AND SAFE ACCESS SOLUTIONS IN QUEENSLAND
Safe@Heights are leaders in the design and installation of ladder brackets entry points. Our easy to use adjustable brackets can fit in almost any location. They also have a unique ladder security cable that can be attached to the ladder with one hand to lock the ladder safely in place. We also have available induction and training videos on how to use a ladder bracket safely. In addition to this we can design, supply and install anchor points, static lines, guard railing, walkway and fixed ladders.
Click on the video to the right to see our ladder brackets in action!
To learn more about our ladder brackets and training videos contact us today via our contact page or continue to read on below for further information.
The No.1 Height Safety
Company in Queensland
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What is a Roof Ladder bracket?
A commonly seen entry point to a low set or two story roof are ladder brackets. It allows access to the roof using a portable extension ladder and is used where it is not appropriate or possible to have a fixed structure such as roof access stairs or fixed roof access ladder. Before we get into how you can use a roof ladder bracket, another option is to install a Ladder Dock. A ladder dock allows an extension ladder to be used more like a fixed ladder. This may be considered a safer option than a standard ladder bracket. Please click the below button to learn more about our ladder dock options.
Ladder Bracket and Anchor Point Strop
The ladder bracket provides a secure location to lock in the extension ladder rung. This provides stability to the ladder when climbing. It can be installed on both tile and metal roofs and in almost any location. However there are some additional roof safety hazards that should be taken into consideration. There is always the possibility that the ladder may move when being climbed and slip out of the ladder bracket when stepping onto the roof. Part of this reason is because the user is forced to step out and around the ladder to access the roof. This exposes them to an immediate fall risk. To help control this risk, firstly we have added a stainless steel wire cable that can secure the ladder to the ladder bracket with one hand. This locks the ladder into place and stops it from being able to slip.
We also recommend that an anchor point with an attachment strop is installed (stainless steel cable). This allows the user to attach to the cable via a personal shock absorber that complies with AS1891.1 to the front of an approved full body fall arrest harness before they attempt to step off the ladder. This ensures they are attached to a fall arrest system prior to breaking their three points of contact.
Working Safely at Heights
While this fall arrest system configuration will prevent a worker from hitting the ground, it won’t prevent them from falling. Therefore you then have the requirement to have a rescue kit and trained rescue person during its use. That is why a ladder bracket can never be used when you are alone. You must always have a second trained person with you. That is one of the disadvantages to having ladder brackets as your entry point instead of a ladder dock, fixed angled ladder or stairs.
Roof pitch and safety
Other risks to take into consideration is the pitch of the roof. Where it is over 10° we recommend that the ladder bracket should be leveled using a 600mm wide by 1200mm long aluminium platform. This allows the user to safely step from the ladder onto a leveled platform before moving up the roof. Stepping from a ladder onto a steep roof is extremely dangerous, especially if the roof surface is wet. By having a leveled platform it greatly reduces the risk of a fall. We custom make these platforms to perfectly suit your roof and location.
Ladder Brackets vs Roof Height
Another major consideration is the height of your building. A ladder bracket should only be used on a low roof with a maximum height of no more than 5m. Many ladder bracket manufacturers state that the maximum building height should not exceed 4m. This allows a standard 6.4m extension ladder to be used and still provides a minimum 1m extension above the roof while maintaining the required 4:1 ladder angle. It is the building owner (PCBU) and the user’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct ladder for the height of the building. We recommend a maximum height of approximately 5m as long as there are safeguards in place to ensure that the correct ladder is used. Anything higher than 5m and the owner should consider a ladder dock. For information regarding a ladder dock please refer to our ladder dock page.
SAFELY USING A LADDER BRACKET
The following procedure will show you how to safely access the roof using a ladder bracket with an anchor point and a fall arrest strop. These instructions come directly from our video training and induction system. For more information on our induction and training videos please contact us.
Often the majority of falls at a workplace are from a ladder. Therefore it is vital that correct procedures are followed.
When accessing a roof via a ladder bracket that has a fall arrest strop, it is important that you understand how to safely use the system. This information can be found in the on-site procedure manual. As part of reviewing the manual you must also ensure that the system has been inspected and certified within the last 12 months.
Firstly inspect your ladder and ensure that it is in good condition and is the correct ladder for accessing the roof.
When setting up the ladder, ensure that the ladder extends past the roof by at least one metre and is at an angle of four to one. This means for every four metres of vertical height the ladder will angle out away from the building by one metre.
Ensure that the ladder legs are on a flat, stable and non-slip surface.
Height Safety Equipment
To use a ladder bracket and strop entry point you must have the following equipment:
- Full body fall arrest harness
- 600mm personal shock absorber
- Climbing helmet
- Rescue equipment
As the strop is a fall arrest system you must always have at least two workers present when climbing the ladder. Both must be trained in rescue and have appropriate rescue equipment at the location.
Climbing the Ladder
After completing the required checks of your equipment, fit your fall arrest harness and helmet. Then attach the 600mm shock absorber to your front D-Ring. While maintaining three points of contact, begin to climb the ladder. Once reaching the roof edge, stop and balance yourself. While maintaining three points of contact, attach your shock absorber to the strop cable. Continue to climb the ladder until you reach the top. Ensure the step off point is clear, free from debris, and is not wet or slippery. Step onto the roof and immediately in and away from the edge.
Exiting the Roof
To exit the roof, attach yourself to the strop via your shock absorber and move to the ladder. Carefully take hold of the ladder with both hands and step down onto the first tread. Ensure you balance yourself on the ladder before you begin your descent, maintaining three points of contact at all times. Once your chest reaches the roof edge, stop and disconnect from the strop. Continue to move safely down the ladder.
Ladder Bracket Safety
Always remember that it is your responsibility to ensure you are entering and exiting the roof safely. It’s important to practice the correct height safety technique. Never rush or try to shortcut safety procedures. An anchor and strop is not a fall prevention system, it is a fall arrest system which in the event of a slip will arrest your fall. While this system will prevent you from hitting the ground, it is likely that you will sustain injuries as the strop arrests your fall. You will also require rescuing. Therefore it is vital that when using a ladder bracket and strop system that you follow the correct safety procedures and are entirely focused upon your safety.
Queensland Designed & Made
No matter the reason for access or the location, we can custom design, manufacture and install the right solution for you. One of our Height Safety Specialists is able to provide you with the right advice and make you aware of the legislation you should know and the options that are available to you.
For further information about how we can help you please contact us via our contact page or by calling (07) 3208 5833