If you ever have to work outdoors, the weather conditions that you find yourself in can have a tremendous effect on your overall safety, especially when high winds are involved. 

The wind is often a neglected and ignored weather condition when working outside, most likely down to the fact that it is invisible and as such is not top of the mind. However, despite us not being physically able to see high winds, they have the ability to cause real damage to anyone that is caught working in them, especially if you're on a ladder!

So, how do you keep yourself safe when working in windy conditions? Ladders UK Direct are here to give you some easy ladder safety tips that help minimise the risks involved with working outdoors in high winds.

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Hop-up step

Need a bit of extra height while working? A ladder isn't always the most practical solution - sometimes, it's both quicker and safer to use a hop-up work platform.

We offer a selection of sturdy aluminium hop-ups here at Ladders UK Direct. The best one? Well, that depends on your requirements...

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diy in lockdown

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, DIY projects have become increasingly popular. With more time at home and very few things to entertain us, it only makes sense that you tackle some of the home improvements that you've been putting off. In normal circumstances, you might have hired a professional to get the job done properly. However, tradesmen are busier than ever and we're being advised to limit our interactions where possible, so a DIY approach might be preferable this time around.

Luckily, a lot of DIY stores like B&Q, Halfords, and (most importantly) Ladders UK Direct are still trading, which means you can get your hands on the materials and equipment you need. Shop Ladders Now >

If this is your first time doing any kind of home DIY, you might be following YouTube tutorials and 'winging it' to a certain extent - which creates some pretty serious safety concerns. Tradespeople with years of experience and knowledge are able to manage the risks properly. In comparison, your average Joe following a YouTube tutorial might make one wrong move and end up damaging their home, or worse, injuring themselves. In this blog, we're going to take a look at some of the safety precautions you can take to reduce your risk of DIY injuries during lockdown.

 

Do a risk assessment

Before you start any DIY job you should carry out a risk assessment. Professional tradespeople always do them to make sure that all the potential risks are managed. Now, we're not expecting you to fill in paperwork, but you should definitely take some time to look a the job, the tools and equipment, and the working area before you get started. 

A lot of people decide they want to do a DIY job and just dive right into it without any forward planning - this is where accidents occur. It's good that you're keen to get things done, but your safety always has to come first!

We've gone into detail to show you how a step ladder risk assessment should be carried out, but the same steps can be applied to any kind of DIY risk assessment.

  • Identify potential hazards
  • Come up with solutions to eliminate the hazards

For example: "My ladder is missing a couple of rungs, which means I'll struggle to climb to the correct height safely"

Solution: Don't use a ladder that's damaged, order a new one and make sure it's in good working order before you start your DIY project.

Some potential DIY risks to be aware of

You might think that most DIY jobs come without risk, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Every DIY job comes with risks, some are just more obvious than others. Here are a few risks that you might not have considered...

Painting and/or putting up wallpaper 

Check that the room you're decorating has adequate ventilation. A lot of people start decorating with the windows and doors clothes and end up giving themselves a severe headache from the fumes!

Putting up pictures/shelves

Drilling directly into a wall blindly is a definite risk. Check that you're not going to hit any important wires or cables by investing in a cable detector.

Electrics/wiring

The risks that come along with electrical DIY can be life-threatening. We'd recommend using a fibreglass ladder to reduce your risk of electric shock. If in doubt, always seek the help of a professional electrician.

Avoid doing unnecessary/overly-dangerous DIY

One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of injury is to assess each DIY job and decide whether or not the risk you're taking is absolutely essential. If you're not confident that you can complete a DIY project safely, it might be best to avoid doing it at all. 

Ending up in the hospital right now will put more pressure on the NHS and also increases your chances of catching COVID-19, so, if in doubt - leave it to the professionals. 

That being said, with a thorough risk assessment, the right equipment, and some prior knowledge, there are a lot of DIY jobs that anyone can do during lockdown!

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 If you have any questions about the right kind of ladder for your DIY project, drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

window cleaning

Are you thinking about starting your own window cleaning company? If the answer is yes, you're in the right place! Today we're going to answer the question "can window cleaners use ladders?" so that you know whether you should purchase your very own set before you get started. 

Window cleaning ladders and the law

If you're working at height, there are a set of rules, guidelines, and regulations that you have to follow that are set out by the Health and Safety Executive (or HSE). Their overarching message is that working from height should be avoided wherever possible. Equipment like water fed poles can be used from the ground to clean hard-to-reach windows, but there are also some flaws with this method. 

  • There might not be a suitable water source for the equipment at every house/location
  • The water-fed pole may not be long enough to reach the windows you need to clean
  • The quality of work might be lower because you can't see the dirt on the windows up-close

In some scenarios, cleaning windows on a ladder is the best option. Here's what the HSE advises if you do need to clean windows at height:

"Where window cleaning at height cannot be avoided, you must first consider using an existing place of work that is already safe for example, cleaning from inside windows or from a balcony.

If you cannot find an existing safe place, to work from, you must provide suitable access equipment. Where the risk of falling is not eliminated by either of these means, you must take additional measures to minimise the distance and consequences of any fall by using the right type of fall arrest equipment."

So, yes - window cleaners can use ladders to reach windows on the second or third storey, but it's important that you invest in good-quality equipment and work as safely as you possibly can. That's where we come in!

Best ladder for cleaning windows

At Ladders UK Direct, we offer a wide range of ladders that are perfect for window cleaning. From sturdy single-section ladders to versatile combination ladders - we have it all! Here are some of our top picks if you're looking for the best ladder for cleaning windows.

domestic double extension ladder

Domestic Double Extension Ladder

If you're only planning to do window cleaning jobs around your own home, this Domestic Double Extension Ladder is ideal!

It's made of lightweight aluminium, can carry loads up to 150kg and meets the new improved strength and slip tests. While this ladder can't be used by professional window cleaners, it certainly is a great option for homeowners who want their windows to sparkle.

 

LFI super trade plus triple extension ladder

LFI Super-Trade PLUS Triple Extension Ladder

For those of you looking to clean windows professionally, this Triple Extension Ladder from LFI is an excellent choice. This ladder comes in a range of lengths from 4 metres to 10 metres, so you'll have no problem reaching the windows on the tallest of buildings. 

It's certified for trade use, features comfortable 'D' shaped rungs and secure non-slip grip with PVC feet. For added slip protection, you should take a look at our ladder pads and our ladder mats

zarges combi-master

Zarges Combi-Master DX

If you're looking for a great all-round ladder that you can use for cleaning windows - even without a supporting wall, then the Zarges Combi-Master DX is the ladder for you. 

This innovative combination ladder can be used as a two-section push-up ladder or a ladder with double-sided access. It features high-strength Perlon straps and sturdy triangular rungs which made it comfortable to work on.

With this combination ladder in your arsenal, there'll be very few windows that you cannot reach. 

If none of these ladders looks like the right window cleaning solution for you - take a look at our full range of window cleaning ladders by clicking the button below. As always, you can email us at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk if you have any questions.

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Read More: Can You Put a Ladder Against a Window?

Choosing the best scaffold ladder is no easy task - there are a lot of different brands out there, and if you've never bought a scaffold tower before it can be a bit overwhelming! Don't worry, today we're going to talk you through some of our best selling scaffold towers so that you can get a better idea of the scaffold towers that we offer & choose the right one for you.

zarges reachmaster mobile scaffold tower

Our Best Selling Scaffold Tower

In 2020, our best selling scaffold tower was the Zarges Reachmaster Mobile Scaffold Tower (pictured above). This versatile scaffold tower comes with platform heights ranging from 0.6m to 6.5m, so you're sure to find a product for the task at hand.

It features a folding base frame which allows the scaffold tower to be erected quickly. When folded down, this scaffold tower can be neatly packing into your van or the back of your car. The safe working load is 210kg, meaning it can comfortably support you and your tools/equipment. 

In total, the Zarges Reachmaster Mobile Scaffold Tower offers a greater range of platform working heights than most other aluminium scaffold towers in its class. No surprise this one of the best scaffold ladder sellers of 2020!

Order Your Zarges Reachmaster Mobile Scaffold Tower >

Another Best Selling Scaffold Tower

You guys loved the Zarges Reachmaster Scaffold Tower, but one of the other best scaffold towers (coming in a close second) was the Boss Ladderspan Single Width Scaffold Tower

This platform is a better choice than the Zarges Mobile Scaffold if you're looking for maximum height. These scaffold towers have a minimum working height of 4.20m and a maximum working height of 14.20m - depending on which product you buy.

All of these scaffold towers have a tower width of 0.85m, allowing enough space for you to work efficiently without taking up too much space around the building/structure you're working on.

With a rigid construction, ribbed rung tubing, and a 3T (through the trapdoor) build method - you'll find this scaffold tower a pleasure to work with.

Order your Boss Ladderspan Scaffold Tower >

If the scaffold towers here don't seem like the best option for the job at hand, you can browse our full range of scaffold towers by clicking the button below. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us an email at sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.