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12 Jun 2024

Working at height risks

Working at height is a hazardous business - obviously. You don't need us to tell you to be careful when you're standing at the the top of a 20ft ladder or on the roof of a multi-storey building. You know, instinctively, the danger such a situation poses.

What you might not realise is how broad the definition of 'working at height' actually is. You don't have to be all that far off the ground to be at risk - guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that 'work at height' means "work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury".

Even a short drop can result in serious injuries, so before you - or your employees - enter any situation where work at height is necessary, it's important to 1) think about what could go wrong, and 2) take steps to minimise risk.

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23 Nov 2023

my ladder is not tall enough

Picture this: you have everything you need to clean your gutters out, including a brand-new ladder, but disaster strikes! When you set it up, the ladder is too short for you to reach into the gutters. What can you do to solve the problem? Read on to find out.

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31 Oct 2023

keep your worksite safe

When using a ladder to work at height, you must undertake safety inspections before the work can begin.

These safety inspections absolutely must include assessments of the working environment. If you don’t sweep it for hazards, you could end up in very unpleasant situations should an accident occur.

Don’t just take our word for it. Recently in the state of Utah, US, a man fell eight feet from a ladder and was impaled in the back by a metal spike. Ouch! (At the time of writing he is in a stable condition.)

Here in the UK, 40 fatal injuries occurred over 2022-23 as a result of falls from height. This makes it very clear that ladder safety to take seriously!

READ MORE: How Many People Fall Off Ladders Each Year?

No matter how thoroughly you prepare against them, accidents do still happen, so it’s always worth making sure your working environment is as free as possible from hazards. That way, should you or an employee fall from a ladder, there won’t be any collisions with anything harmful.

Potential hazards include:

  • Overhead cables
  • Objects on the ground like sharp poles, barrels, crates
  • Any detritus that may get blown into the ladder during a strong wind
  • Other workers – you certainly don’t want to cause injury to anyone else if you fall from a ladder!
  • Vehicles either parked nearby or driving past
  • Pedestrians

If you have any further questions about ladder safety, or about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll do our best to help you out.

27 Jul 2022

scaffold tower outside a house

Scaffold towers, also called access towers, can be a good alternative to traditional ladders when you need to work at height for a long time. The larger work platform gives you extra space to move around and put down tools between tasks.

Whilst they are handy pieces of equipment, scaffold towers - like ladders - should only be used if they are in good condition. It's important to inspect your scaffold tower regularly in order to ensure that it's safe to use.

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10 Dec 2020

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.