Health and safety regulation is so stringent, in the context of working at heights, for obvious reasons. Falls from height of a leading cause of workplace fatality and serious injury and in recent years the HSE has done a lot to try and curb instances of these kinds of serious accidents.
One of the facets of health and safety legislation that has recently been tightened up is the importance of safe access to raised areas or roofs. To paraphrase, the HSE states that access to raised areas, platforms or roofs must be both safe and planned, using the correct equipment that falls within health and safety regulations.
This often means using access ladders, which are designed specifically to optimise the safety of raised area access. As anyone who works in construction will tell you, often raised areas are idiosyncratic and so vertical ladder systems must be designed with a specific project in mind.
In order to meet all the HSE directives access ladders must be designed and built within current regulations. In practical terms this might mean that a vertical ladder is constructed with a safety cage or that a vertical ladder is combined with a fall arrest system.
Of course the inherent safety of access ladders is paramount, however this doesn’t mean that they can’t also be practical and easy to install and use. Many ladders are modular, and can be easily installed on site by two persons.