how to hold a ladder for someone

STOP RIGHT THERE! If you've been asked to hold a ladder for someone while they work at height, please do not agree to do so! Holding a ladder for someone not only puts them at risk but puts you at risk too. Nowadays, there is absolutely no need for someone to hold a ladder for you while you climb, there are a number of safer, more reliable ways to secure a ladder that will prevent accidental slips and falls.

What are my options?

Asking someone to hold a ladder for you should really be a last resort - even then, we don't really recommend it. Here are some other options you should consider first!

  • Secure the ladder to a nearby anchor point. This can be done using ladder hooks or rope.
  • Place ladder mats under the feet of the ladder to create more traction between the ladder and the ground.
  • Use a ladder stability device that's specifically designed to secure the ladder in place.
  • Wedge something sturdy underneath the ladder to prevent the feet from moving around.

The importance of ladder positioning

One of the biggest mistakes people make when using a ladder is failing to position it properly. First things first, assess the ground where you intend to use the ladder. Is it flat? Is it stable? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then you're off to a bad start. Even a ladder that's fully secured is likely to wobble (or topple) if it's used on uneven ground. If you can, you should prop your ladder up somewhere that's completely flat and stable. 

The way in which you set the ladder up is so important if you want to prevent accidents. As a general rule of thumb, you should position your ladder at a 75-degree angle against the wall. This is also commonly known as the 4-in-1 rule. By propping the ladder up in the correct way, you can increase its stability and reduce the chance of a slip or fall - without having to rely on someone to hold the ladder.

Read More - Ladder Angle: What is the 4-in-1 rule?

I still can't make my ladder stable, what should I do?

If you feel like you've exhausted all of your options and you still don't feel safe to climb your ladder without someone holding it, we'd recommend using a different type of ladder. A step ladder or a combination ladder can offer better stability in a situation where the ground is uneven or the extension ladder is unsteady.

These ladders have multiple contact points with the ground, rather than relying on a wall or supporting surface. This means they can be used in precarious locations like stairs and gardens. Take a look at some of our step and combination ladders below:

Step Ladders >         Combination Ladders >

Remember, if you ever feel like you can't climb a ladder safely, stop what you're doing. There's always an alternative option out there that will enable you to get the job done safely. Take a look at some of our other ladder safety blogs below.

More Ladder Safety Blogs >

How to Erect a Scaffold Tower

There are some jobs that can’t be completed using a standard ladder. In these scenarios, you might opt for a scaffold tower to provide you with extra height and workspace. Today we’re going to show you how to erect a scaffold tower so that it’s safe to use.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to show you how to erect a generic scaffold tower. You should always refer to the assembly instructions on your chosen make/model for a more detailed guide.

Scaffolding Safety Guidelines

The person in charge of erecting a scaffold tower should be competent and trained to do so. If in doubt, please contact a licensed builder or scaffolding contractor to help you erect your scaffold tower safely.

Scaffolding that’s a risk to the public

If your scaffold tower will be erected in a place that’s a risk to the public, for example, on a public footpath, it’s best to schedule your scaffold work during quiet times of day. Alternatively, request a temporary road closure from your local council to reduce the risk of accidents. 

Scaffolding safety checks

While you’re working on a scaffold tower, it’s vital that you periodically check that it’s safe to use. You should do this:

  • Before you start using it
  • Every 7 days while it’s in use
  • After damage or bad weather

How to Erect a Scaffold Tower: Step-By-Step Guide

Most scaffold towers are made of these major elements:

  • Scaffold frames
  • Braces
  • Work platforms
  • Scaffold stabilisers
  • Advanced guard rails
  • Castors (for mobile scaffold towers)

It is possible to erect a scaffold tower on your own, but it’s much easier with two people. We’d recommend finding a friend or colleague to help you.

1. Attach the castors

If you’re building a mobile scaffold tower you should start by attaching the castors to the first scaffold frame. Once attached, lock the brakes in place to prevent movement.

2. Install horizontal braces

The horizontal braces are put in place to secure the two sides together. Once these are in place you should have a sturdy rectangular base for your scaffold tower.

3. Check the scaffold tower is level

During the building process, you should repeatedly check your scaffold tower is level using a spirit level. It’s important that your scaffold tower doesn’t lean to one side. This could become a health and safety hazard,

4. Install the first level

Once the base of the scaffold tower is in place, you can add the first level. It’s likely that some of your scaffold frames will feature ladders to allow you to climb up and down the scaffold. Ensure these are installed in the right place by referring to your manufacturer's guide.

5. Install diagonal braces

To stabilise the scaffold tower as you build the first level, you use diagonal braces. These secure the scaffold tower and help to keep the rectangular shape all the way up.

6. Install the scaffold stabilisers

Once you’ve erected the first level of the scaffold tower, you should install the scaffold stabilisers. There’s usually one stabiliser on each corner of the scaffold tower. These add an extra level of security before you build the scaffold tower to a significant height.

7. Add a work platform

Before you can add the remaining scaffold frames and braces, you’ll need to install a work platform to stand on. It’s important that this is fully secure and level to prevent slips and falls. For 3T (through the trap door) scaffold towers, you will need to ensure the trapdoor is in the correct place & orientation.

8. Install the guard rails

Most scaffold towers come with an advanced guard rail system for added safety. Guard rails should be installed on the first level of the scaffold tower before anyone attempts to climb the scaffold tower to continue building.

9. Continue adding scaffold frames & work platforms

All you need to do now is continue adding the remaining scaffold frames and work platforms until you reach the desired height.

Safety tips when erecting a scaffold tower:

  • Ensure all fastenings are tightened securely before climbing the scaffold tower.
  • Wear appropriate PPE and fall protection gear, (this will depend on the height and nature of your scaffold tower).
  • Choose a scaffold tower with toe boards to prevent the fall of any equipment/materials.

At Ladders UK Direct we offer a wide range of DIY and professional scaffold towers to suit your needs. We hope that this guide will help you erect your scaffold tower quickly and safely so you can start working at height in no time! Head to our scaffold towers page to shop:

Email for more help finding the right scaffold tower for you.

If you've found yourself reading this blog, you're probably looking for the best extending ladder for an upcoming job! Don't worry, you're in good hands. Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer a huge range of extending ladders that are suitable for jobs around the home, on-site or on the move.

In order to find the best extending ladder for you, we need to first ask you the following question - what will you be using your extending ladder for? Trade or DIY jobs? Work your way through this blog and we're sure we'll be able to find the best extending ladder for you.


Best extending ladder for jobs around the house

Looking for an extending ladder for DIY and jobs around the home? We have a range of extending ladders that are perfect for you! All of our DIY extending ladders are designed with homeowners and DIY-ers in mind. This means they're lightweight, easy to operate & durable - so you won't have to worry if they get a bit damp in your garden shed. What kind of jobs might you use an extending ladder for, you ask? Our DIY extension ladders can be used for cleaning windows, gardening, painting & most other DIY jobs you can think of!

So which extending ladder is the best for you? Take a look at some of our best DIY extending ladders below and choose the best one for you!

DIY extending ladders

On the left, we have the Domestic Double Extension Ladder which is made of lightweight, sturdy aluminium and comes with a 1-year guarantee. This ladder is perfect if you want a ladder that's free from bells and whistles and will get the job done!

On the right, we have the Domestic Triple Extension Ladder that's certified to EN131 non-professional standard. It also comes with a 1-year warranty and is made of durable aluminium. Take a closer look at our top DIY extending ladders to decide which one is the best for you...

Domestic Double Extending Ladder >         Domestic Triple Extending Ladder >


Best extending ladder for tradespeople

Choosing the best extending ladder for tradespeople is a little trickier, there are so many excellent options on the market!! Here at Ladders UK Direct, we think the best extending ladders for tradespeople are from LFI. Not only are these extending ladders made to the highest standards, but they're also available at incredibly reasonable prices. Take a look at some of our top picks below.

LFI extending ladders

On the left, we have the LFI Super-Trade Plus Double Extension Ladder that boasts lots of great features including a stabiliser bar, comfortable D-shaped rungs and PVC moulded feet. This double section extending ladder comes in a range of lengths, so we're sure you'll be able to find one that suits your needs.

On the right, we have the LFI Super-Trade Plus Triple Extension Ladder, another excellent choice if you're looking for the best extending ladder. It conforms to EN131 professional standards and boasts all of the same great features of the double extension ladder. Look at these two trade extending ladders in more detail below.

LFI Super-Trade Plus Double Extension Ladder >         LFI Super-Trade Plus Triple Extension Ladder >

So there you have it - an insight into the best extending ladders we have to offer. We hope that you can find the right ladder for your needs here, if not head to our Extension Ladders page to explore our full range. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch.

Shop All Extension Ladders >