Preliminary investigation into the Fall-arresting effectiveness of ladder safety hoops.
Safety hoops are an assembly of circular and vertical steel bars that are fastened to the stiles of fixed ladders and are arranged so as to enclose the path of a worker when climbing the ladder. Ladders so enclosed are also known as caged or hooped ladders.
Various legislative and guidance documents specify safety hoops and give the impression that the purpose of the hoops is to protect workers fraom fallingto the ground or other platform. Previous research has indicated that there is virtually a total lack of knowledge in regard to what ladder safety hoops are and, and in conjuction with anecdotal accident evidence and lack of test methods, uncertainties have been raised by persons conducting working at height risk assesmentsas to whether safety hoops can provie any form of fall-arresting capability.
The overall aim of this preliminary investigation was to update the current state of knowledge and understanding in regard to what ladder safety hoops actually are, what they intended purpose is, and to establish by preliminary testing whether or not they could provide any from of fall-arresting capability.
This investigation reports on: results of a literature search, a survey on fixed ladder manufacturers and users, accident information and test results. The tests used an anthropomorphic test dummy to simulate a worker falling off a caged ladder and compared the results with those obtained on ladder-mounted fall-arrest systems using the same test conditions.
Twenty-three recomendations are made in regard to the findings of this research, including directions for further work.
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