The information below is drawn from Australian Health and Safety documents. However in general terms they will apply to the majority of jurisdictions in which products of this type are sold.
Duties of Employers (PCBU’s)
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Acts of the Commonwealth and States of Australia, it may be said in general terms that is incumbent on the person conducting a business enterprise (PCBU) to provide a safe workplace for all employees and that this requirement is extended to cover the use of any equipment to be used by employees.
By example, from the Victorian act;
“Duties of PCBU’s to employees
(1) An PCBU must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain for employees of the employer a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.”
and from the New South Wales act under Duties of PCBU’s;
“(b) ensuring that any plant or substance provided for use by the employees at work is safe and without risks to health when properly used,”
Duties of Manufacturers
It is also a requirement for Designers, Manufacturers and Suppliers that any product supplied is in so far a practicable free from risks when correctly used, and that information about correct use of the product is provided.
Again, from the New South Wales act;
“Duties of designers, manufacturers and suppliers of plant and substances for use at work
(1) A person who designs, manufactures or supplies any plant or substance for use by people at work must:
(a) ensure that the plant or substance is safe and without risks to health when properly used, and
(b) provide, or arrange for the provision of, adequate information about the plant or substance to the persons to whom it is supplied to ensure its safe use.
Product Risk Assessments for CLC products are provided for this purpose. See “Standards”
It must be understood that the Risk Assessments provided do not ensure the suitability of the associated item for any given task. The decision to purchase and use the item for any given task is solely the responsibility of the PCBU. Any decision to purchase should be preceeded by the employer undertaking a Workplace Risk Assessment of the task, and the product risk assessments given here form part of the Workplace Risk Assessment.
Similarly, manufacturing standards such as AS/NZS 1892.1:1996 (the Australian/New Zealand standard for portable metal ladders) do not ensure the suitability of any product manufactured under the standard for any given task. See “Standards”
Additional information may be found on the following links;
Managing the Risk of Falls at Workplaces – Safework Australia
Using Equipment to Access Stock – Worksafe Victoria
Reasonably Practicable – Safework Australia