Railway-Specific Ladder

Rail projects can be particularly dangerous for construction workers, with a number of additional safety hazards to consider. One such risk is rolling stock access.

See the examples below to see how one site addressed this:

  • The site originally used standard ladders, which were unsecured and had no handrails thus posing a safety risk.
  • If there were no ladders available operatives used to stand on the rails/climb up the side of the wagon to be able to reach the pin to enable the side of the wagon to drop open. To open the pin a piece of wood was used to knock the door pin open. This system posed a danger to workers, as if there was any loose material leaning against the wagon door this would fall on the operative once the pin was knocked clear and the door opened.
  • The site therefore worked with their supplier ‘Sure Safe’ to develop a new ladder fit for purposes on site.
  • The modified ladders can be secured to the wagons by an anchoring chain as well as two handrails which can be adjusted to suit the ladder.
  • The ladders also have an extension which gives the operative access to higher wagons.

Adapting the site’s working methods to address this risk has enhanced the safety of operatives working on rail projects.

Footer Reference

Monitor report. Balfour Beatty Rail Ltd. London. May 2017.


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