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Questions and answers


Why are ladder inspections necessary?

Ladders are work equipment and fall under the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV).

Section 14 of BetrSichV requires work equipment to be inspected:

"Work equipment which is subject to influences which cause damage and can lead to hazards for employees are recurrently checked for their proper condition by a person qualified to carry out inspections."

What is a "person qualified to carry out inspections"?

A qualified person in the sense of the BetrSichV is a person who has a command of the required specialised knowledge for inspecting work equipment due to their professional training, professional experience and current professional activity.

Therefore, in order to carry out this activity the necessary expertise and the ability to recognise the limits of acceptability are required.

You can obtain the specialist knowledge and further information for a person qualified for the examination, e.g. within the framework of our one-day seminar:

"Training to become a person qualified to carry out inspections on ladders, step stools, small scaffolding and mobile scaffolding".

Who is allowed to inspect ladders?

Employees in your company who have the required knowledge according to BetrSichV and have been appointed to do so.
The person qualified to carry out inspections must have knowledge of the state of the art of the work equipment that is being inspected, and of the hazards to be considered, and must be familiar with the BetrSichV and applicable statutory regulations, provisions, standards and inspection principles to such an extent that they can assess the safe condition of the work equipment.

It is recommended by experts (e.g. German Social Accident Insurance, inspection bodies, manufacturers) to attend a one-day course to become a person qualified to carry out inspections.

Munk Service can also carry out this inspection for you as an external service provider, which means almost no more in-house effort for you.

What defects are the ladders checked for?

The ladders undergo a visual and functional check: Are all rungs / steps sound? Are components missing? Does the ladder have sharp edges or splinters? Are the ladder feet fully functional? Are there serious signs of wear and tear? Are all markings present?

These questions and more are examined in detail one after the other and documented on a checklist.

How does a ladder inspection work?

The person inspecting the ladder works through the different inspection criteria using a checklist and documents them. A separate checklist is created for each ladder and includes the complete type and design of the ladder. Once inspected, the ladder is given an inspection label indicating the date of the next test.

Defective ladders must be immediately withdrawn from use and repaired, as required by section 5 of BetrSichV:

"The employer must not provide work equipment and allow it to be used if it has defects that impair safe use."

In section 22, a violation of this requirement is classified as an administrative offence. Competent authorities can punish violations of the BetrSichV regulations.

How is the inspection documented?

The completed checklist is signed by the person carrying out the inspection and filed in the inspection folder. This folder remains in the company and acts as proof of the inspections carried out for authorities and insurance companies.

How often do ladders need to be inspected?

The BetrSichV requires:

"The inspection must take place in accordance with the time limits determined in accordance with section 3 paragraph 6." The intervals for the periodic inspections shall be set in such a way that the work equipment can be used safely until the next specified inspection.

The intervals for the inspection depend on the operating conditions and should be determined on the basis of the risk assessment, general sources of knowledge and operational experience. This can mean a daily inspection if the ladders are used continuously and under certain circumstances with high stresses.

The DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance) and manufacturers recommend inspecting at least once a year.