Contractor Q & A
Question: Is it now illegal to use a 3-step ladder or a saw stool?
Answer: The HSE Act does not ban the use of three-step ladders, but does require that they are used in the way the manufacturer has designed them. In addition, the Act requires the employer to take all practicable steps to eliminate or reduce, as low as is reasonably practicable, the risk of a person falling a distance likely to cause injury. It is important to remember that the measures selected need to be proportionate to the risk. The use of a three-step ladder is considered appropriate for low-risk, short-duration tasks (taking into account factors such as a stable, level platform for the ladder).
Generally saw horses or saw horses with planks are not recognised as suitable work platforms, as they have not been designed for this purpose. The exception to this rule would be if the equipment was purposely designed and manufactured for this use and meets a relevant Standard.
Source: Worksafe: http://construction.worksafe.govt.nz/your-questions/