Step ladder

We have a huge range of step ladders for sale here at Ladders UK Direct. Whether you need a step ladder for domestic or professional use, we're confident that you'll find what you're looking for on our website.

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If you've never used a step ladder before, you might be wondering if there are any specific safety measures you're supposed to take. To help you keep risk at a minimum, here are eight step ladder do's and don'ts:

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Gutter

SHORT ANSWER: No, it's not safe to lean a ladder against a gutter. Make sure you lean your ladder against a strong resting point that's sturdy enough to support it.

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Feet standing on a chair

If you need to change a light bulb or get something down from a high shelf, you might be tempted to just grab the nearest chair and stand on top of it in order to reach the required height.

But chairs and stools are designed to be sat on, not stood on. Even a sturdy-looking chair may not be stable enough to serve as a safe height access solution.

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Climbing a ladder

Unless you have a fear of heights, there's no reason to be afraid of using a ladder. A ladder isn't dangerous as long as it's in good condition and you use it safely.

Here's what you can do to minimise risk when using a ladder...

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Platform step ladder with 7 treads

Self-supporting step ladders are generally safe and easy to use, but there are certain precautions you should take to minimise your risk of falling and injuring yourself.

For example, it may not be safe to stand on your step ladder's topmost treads. The exact rules depend on what sort of ladder you're using - read on for details.

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Ladder 1 in 4 rule

The '1 in 4' rule (also known as the '4 to 1' rule) is a simple piece of guidance that you should always follow when you use a leaning ladder.

Here's the rule:

For every 4 feet of height, position the base of the ladder 1 foot away from the wall.

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We sell a wide variety of ladders here at Ladders UK Direct. As you browse our website, you may notice that a lot of our extension ladders come with a stabiliser bar included as standard.

A stabiliser bar is a horizontal bar that widens the base of the ladder to keep it from slipping. Very often, this 'foot' is integrated into the ladder's design, but stabiliser bars are also sold separately (in which case they can be attached or removed as needed).

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Self-supporting step ladder

Step ladders are a type of self-supporting ladder. Unlike, say, an extension ladder - which must be leaned up against a wall or another surface that's sturdy enough to support it - a step ladder can stand up all on its own, without any additional support or stabilisation.

But here's a question that a lot of people ask: can a step ladder be leaned against a wall and used as a straight ladder if the situation demands it? Or should step ladders exclusively be used as self-supporting ladders?

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Non-conductive ladder

Aluminium ladders are great for all sorts of tasks, but if you're carrying out electrical installations or working near power lines, an aluminium ladder is not a safe choice.

This is because aluminium conducts electricity. When you're working with electricity, you want a non-conductive ladder that will reduce your risk of electrocution.

And that's where our fibreglass step ladders come in. Unlike aluminium, fibreglass is non-conductive, so these ladders are ideal for electricians and anyone else who frequently works near electrical hazards.

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Using a ladder on stairs

As a general rule, ladders should be placed on level ground to maximise stability while in use. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines say:

"You should only use ladders in situations where they can be used safely, e.g. where the ladder will be level and stable"

This rule would appear to preclude the use of ladders on stairs. However, if you do need to get a bit of extra height while working on a staircase, we may still be able to help you.

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