Man climbing up a wooden loft ladder

If you want to access your attic more easily, installing a loft ladder is a great way to achieve this. A permanent loft ladder saves you the hassle of fetching and setting up a conventional ladder every time you want to go up there - and most loft ladders can be neatly folded away when you're done.

Before you purchase a loft ladder, though, we recommend taking a moment to familiarise yourself with the different types of loft ladder that are available. Here's a quick guide from Ladders UK Direct...

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Triple extension ladder

A surgeon from Portsmouth recently stated that he was 'lucky to be alive' after suffering an eighteen-foot fall. Professor Peter Brennan's rubber-footed ladder slipped while he was cleaning his gutters, resulting in what he called the "most terrifying 2 seconds of my life", followed by "lots of injuries and multiple fractures".

As we've discussed previously on this blog, there are several precautions you can take to reduce the risk of ladder slippage - but Prof. Brennan "checked and double checked" to make sure that his ladder was safe, and he endured a nasty fall nonetheless.

This goes to show that, no matter how careful you are, you can never be 100% sure that an accident will not occur. So what should you do if you're standing on a ladder and, in spite of all safety measures, it begins to fall?

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Did you know that 40% of all on the job deaths that occur at work are a result of a fall from height? These typically involve workers that have been tasked with working on roofs and hard to reach places using a ladder. Unfortunately, this is a very damning fact, but one that can be addressed through simple and effective safety measures. 

Preventative steps such as sufficient training in the safe use of ladders as well as providing equipment that is fit for purpose will have a dramatic impact on reducing these numbers. Another important way that you can keep safe whilst working at height is by wearing the correct clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Unsure about what clothes and PPE you should be wearing when using a ladder? Read on to find out!

Hi-vis workwear and PPE

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Painter on ladder

If you are an employer, the safety of your workers is ultimately your responsibility. And this includes when they are using a ladder to work at height.

Now, some people may think otherwise and that when people are using a ladder, their safety is their own responsibility. However, this is far from the truth. So, if an employee of yours does fall from a ladder and injures themselves, what will happen to you? Can you be fined? Let's find out...

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working safely at height

It's a sad fact that a lot of the accidental deaths in the workplace are directly linked to working at height. When working at height, it's absolutely vital that you have proper precautions in place to help prevent a slip or fall. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have a lot of great information about working safely at height to show you how it's done properly. We've put together this blog, with the help of the HSE Working at Height Resource, to show you how to work at height safely.

Who should work at height?

You may think that because you have a ladder and you know how to climb it that you're perfectly competent to work at height safely. The truth is, even people who work at height every day can make mistakes. So, no matter who you are, if you need to work at height it's important you follow safety guidelines laid out by Health and Safety Executive.

Before you start working

Before you even think about touching a ladder, you need to make sure that the work has been planned properly, will be supervised properly and is being carried out by someone with the correct training/experience and knowledge of working safely at height. You also need to check that you've got the right safety equipment.

Assessing the risks

We've spoken about step ladder risk assessments before, but when you're working at height on any ladder, a risk assessment is important. Think about how long the task will take, how many times you'll need to do it, and the type of surface you'll be working on. Working safely at height is largely down to how well you understand and manage potential risks. For example, if you think that there's any chance of a slip or fall, make sure you explore fall arrest equipment before making a start.

Working safely at height - what you should and shouldn't do:

You should:

  • Get as much work done from the ground as you can
  • Make sure extra precautions are taken if you're working near a fragile/breakable surface
  • Ensure you're wearing protective headgear in case of falling objects
  • Consider what would happen in the event of an emergency & make sure everyone on site is aware
  • Ensure the climbing space is clear & free of debris

You shouldn't:

  • Lean over or overreach while using ladders or scaffolding
  • Overload ladders - make sure you check the maximum working weight before you start!
  • Use ladders for tasks that require you to work at height for longer than 30 minutes at a time
  • Use a ladder or work at height if you aren't qualified to do so

Ladders for Working Safely at Height

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer a huge selection of ladders for domestic and trade use that will allow you to work at height safely. We work with well-known suppliers to bring you some of the safest & most-loved ladders on the market. Use the buttons below to shop our ladders & scaffold towers - perfect for working at height in any location.

Ladders >     Step Ladders >     Scaffold Towers >

If you have any questions about working safely at height, you can contact the Ladders UK Direct team here - sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.