Man using an unsecured ladder

Falling off a ladder can result in some very serious injuries, so before you put your foot on that first rung, it's important to make sure that the risk of a fall is as low as possible.

For example, if you're planning to use the type of ladder that leans against a wall, you must first ensure that the ladder is properly stabilised.

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can broken ladders be repaired

Do you have a broken ladder in your shed or van? Is it worth keeping hold of a broken ladder and fixing it up, or should you buy a new one? More often than not, having a ladder repaired so that it's fit for use is more costly than ordering a brand new one. Not to mention, your broken (and then repaired) ladder may no longer be compliant with the standard it was certified to, which can cause a lot of problems, especially if you're a tradesperson or construction worker! We would always recommend purchasing a new ladder rather than repairing an old one.

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Training to use a ladder

If you are required to work at height as part of your job or in your spare time, there is a range of equipment that can be used to not only make the task more efficient but a whole lot safer.

From access towers to man cages and ladders, the options available to you all ensure that you're able to get whatever job you need doing done, in a safe and controlled manner but do you need training to use them?

In this blog, we focus on the safe use of ladders and whether or not you need to complete any sort of training programme in order to use them to complete work either in a commercial setting or a domestic one.

So, if you're wondering if you need training to use a ladder, read on to find out!

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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 >

Man climbing a ladder

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.

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