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29 Mar 2021

Step Ladder vs Step Stools

A step stool and step ladder are great pieces of equipment to have around your home or work that help make several jobs safer and more efficient. But what's the difference between a step ladder and a step stool and which is right for you?

In this blog we take a look at what sets a step ladder and step stool apart, listing the key differences and which you need to choose for the job at hand. 


22 Mar 2021

ladder left on runway

A recent news report from the BBC shows how a step ladder was accidentally left on a Birmingham Airport runway for half an hour! As far as airport safety goes, having any kind of item obstructing the runway is an accident waiting to happen. 

During the thirty minutes that the ladder was stranded on the tarmac, three different passenger planes landed on the runway - narrowly missing the unexpected obstruction. 

How did the ladder end up there? Well, the report suggests that two airport technicians had been working on the lights along the runway. They packed up their kit and headed back to the main building, but somehow the ladder broke free from the back of their van and was left stranded.

An investigation into why this happened, suggested that the bungee cord used to fasten the ladder to the van was not suitable. More suitable securing equipment was available for the technicians, but they suggested it was not easy to access. Instead, they opted for the bungee cord which was deemed 'unsuitable because it was stretched almost to its limit'.

Thankfully, no planes came into contact with the rogue step ladder, and the ladder was removed safely before a serious incident could occur. 

This incident did, however, lead to some positive changes that will improve the way equipment is transported around airport grounds. Employees will be trained and assessed on a regular basis, and will also be expected to follow a number of specific control measures to keep colleagues and passengers safe. 

Transporting ladders safely

Ladders can be quite difficult to transport, especially if you're moving from one place to another in a standard-sized car. How many times have you driven past someone with a ladder hanging out of their boot? Too many, in our opinion.

The technicians at Birmingham airport had access to a van, which is generally more suitable for ladder transportation, but as we've seen, accidents can still occur.

To transport a ladder safely, you really need to make sure your ladder is fixed to your vehicle securely. That means:

  • Use the right fastenings
  • Check them at least once before setting off
  • Allow for the overhang of the ladder

Improper ladder transportation can lead to all kinds of accidents. Just think how dangerous it would be for a step ladder to fall off a van on a motorway, or on a winding country road! Take a bit of extra time to secure your ladder before you attempt to travel anywhere.

Read More: How to transport a ladder 

It's easy to see how a simple maintenance job can turn into a serious incident in a matter of seconds. That's why it's always important to remain vigilant and work safely when using a ladder. 

Ladder Safety >

18 Mar 2021

what precautions should tradespeople take when working in homes

There certainly is a light at the end of the tunnel now that we're taking steps towards the end of lockdown. That being said, it's important that tradespeople entering our homes are still following guidelines and working safely to reduce the spread of coronavirus. 

Things have a tendency to stop working at the most inconvenient times, and without tradespeople, there would've been a lot of homeowners without electricity, hot water, and other amenities during the pandemic. 

It's really important that tradespeople can continue to enter our homes to do repairs and maintenance, but until the spread of coronavirus drops dramatically, we all need to remain cautious. Today, we're going to highlight some of the precautions that tradespeople should take when they're working in someone's home.

Should tradespeople wear a face covering while working?

Over the past year, we've all become accustomed to wearing face coverings in shops and enclosed public spaces. This is because face masks reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. 

Tradespeople entering your home should be wearing a face mask. If they're not wearing a face mask, you are well within your rights to request that they put one on. Ideally, tradespeople should come prepared with the following coronavirus PPE:

  • A suitable face covering
  • Gloves (or hand sanitiser)
  • Shoe covers

All of these things will not only protect the homeowner, should the tradesperson unknowingly have coronavirus, but will also keep the tradesperson safe as they move from one job to the next. 

Should I offer a tradesperson a cup of tea/coffee?

Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was courtesy to offer a tradesperson a cup of tea/coffee, especially if they were going to be working in our homes for a long time.  However, it's important that you take precautions when tradespeople are in your home, so to reduce physical contact you might decide not to offer a tea or coffee.

This is absolutely fine and generally expected. Tradespeople understand that precautions are in place, and will more than likely have a flask or tea of coffee in their van for lunchtime. 

Should I clean the work area before & after a tradesperson visits my house?

During the pandemic, tradespeople are expected to do a certain level of cleaning while they're on the job. Surfaces that are touched in your home should be cleaned down by the tradespeople as they complete the job. 

That being said, it's completely understandable if you're more comfortable cleaning the work area before and after their visit yourself. Not only will it make the tradesperson feel more comfortable, but it will also give you peace of mind that the risk has been minimised. 

Should I vacate the work area while the tradespeople are in my home?

Removing yourself completely from the work area is a good way to reduce the risk of transmission. It will also make the tradespeople feel comfortable and give them the space they need to get the job done quickly. 

Some of us are, however, working from home at the moment, so it might not be easy to avoid the work area completely. In circumstances where you need to access the same space as the tradespeople, it's recommended that you keep two metres away and limit contact as much as possible. If it's not too much hassle, the tradespeople may be able to step outside for a moment while you make your lunch or brush your teeth! 

Final thoughts...

Most tradespeople (self-employed or not) will be used to working with strict coronavirus precautions in place, so you shouldn't need to worry about having work done in your home during this time. 

It's vital that you keep a good line of communication open so that everyone is comfortable with the working situation. Don't be afraid to speak up if something doesn't sit right with you. We're all entitled to be extra-precautious to keep our colleagues and families safe.

By working together and communicating openly, tradespeople can continue to visit our homes and work effectively while minimising risk.

Are you a tradesperson looking for high-quality ladders & scaffolding to help you work during the coronavirus pandemic? Sign up for a trade account for huge discounts! 

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16 Mar 2021

According to figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43% of fatal falls involve a ladder. That's a very high number, especially considering that individuals who use ladders in the workplace are supposed to receive basic ladder safety training first.

Health and safety experts would point out that the majority of these accidents involve complacency - but if that many falls are occurring when people have received basic training, how many are happening at home, in a domestic environment, with no training at all?

Thankfully, the risks involved with using a ladder can be dramatically reduced with a few key safety precautions. In this blog post, we're going take a look at how to tie off a ladder in order to reduce the chances of a fall occurring.


11 Mar 2021

what does a ladder safety course involve? person stood on white folding platform step ladder

If you regularly use ladders and/or step ladders as part of your daily job, it's important that you are up to speed on how to use them safely. If not, you run the risk of causing a serious accident not just for yourself but potentially for anyone who is working with you or around you whilst you are working. 

To ensure you are fully aware of the risks involved whilst using a ladder and you know how to minimise these risks for your and others safety, various ladder safety courses exists that teaches you the safe use of ladders. 

Want to know more and whether a ladder safety course is something you should take? Find out right here with Ladders UK Direct.