Tool belt

When it comes to staying safe on a ladder - whether you're climbing up it, working on it or climbing down - there are certain things that you need to do to ensure you minimise the risk of injury and accidents so that you are safe at all times.

If you're not aware of these things, you can find out in our blogs here:

How to Climb a Ladder Safely >    How to Use a Step Ladder Safely >

In both of those posts, we talk about the ways that you can stay safe whilst using a ladder and list various points that you can follow. Included here is the way which you carry and hold the specific tools needed to complete the task at hand. Carrying tools whilst ascending and descending a ladder is clearly a safety hazard and should be avoided at all costs unless you have the equipment to do so; such as a tool belt.

Having a tool belt, however, doesn't automatically make carrying tools up a ladder safe. You need to know the correct way to organise and wear it to ensure your tools do not fall whilst climbing up or down the ladder, potentially injuring yourself or others that may be working or moving around you. For those of you who don't know the right way to organise and wear your tool belt, we are here to help! This blog focuses on the correct measures you need to take when carrying tools up a ladder.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find out more...

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can extension ladders be taken apart?

If you own an extension ladder but you need to complete a task at a low height, it can be tempting to think about taking your extension ladder apart to get the job done. However, using the fly section of your extension ladder on its own can create a serious health and safety risk! 

For the most part, extension ladders on have safety steps at the very base of the ladder, this is because the fly section is not intended for use as an individual ladder on its own. Without safety feet, the fly section of the ladder is likely to slip out from underneath you leading to an accidental and potentially life-threatening fall.

Use your ladder as it was intended

We've discussed how to use an extension ladder in lots of detail already here on Ladder UK Direct, but we wanted to remind you of one of the key points. Before you use your ladder you should inspect it to make sure it's fit for use. If it's been dismantled into 2 or 3 separate sections - it's no longer safe for use! Always use your ladder as it was intended to be used to minimise the risk of injury.

What are my other options?

If you need a ladder to complete a job at a low height, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. So, before you start taking your extension ladder apart, take a look at some of these ladders:

  • Single Section LaddersIf you want a single section ladder with suitable safety feet, this is the way to go. Choose either lightweight aluminium or non-conductive fibreglass.
  • Step Ladders - For added stability, or to work in a space without a supporting wall, choose a step ladder. We offer everything from platform steps to tilt and push warehouse steps.
  • Roof Ladders - If you were planning to put a single section of your extension ladder against your house to access the roof, we'd recommend a roof ladder as an alternative. With a hooked end, these ladders provide the ultimate grip while you work on the roof.

To reiterate - you should NEVER take your extension ladders apart. ALWAYS use your ladder in the way it was intended or seek an appropriate alternative! If you have any questions about using your extension ladder, drop us an email - sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

how to use a ladder on uneven ground

Working with ladders on uneven ground can be really challenging. Here at Ladders UK Direct, we'd always recommend using your ladder on flat ground where possible, but we understand that sometimes this simply isn't an option. If you find yourself having to use a ladder on uneven ground, you should do whatever you can to make the ground even before you start.

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How to Position a Step Ladder

When using a step ladder, it is very important not only to ensure that the ladder itself is undamaged and in full working order, but that you position it correctly. By doing so, you will be able to climb up the ladder and complete the task at hand safely, confident that your step ladder will not give way and cause a potentially serious accident.

In case you're not sure how to position a step ladder, we will run through each step below, as well as the correct processes to carry out before setting up your step ladder and whilst using your step ladder.

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using a ladder in the rain

Using a ladder in cold and wet weather conditions is nobody's idea of fun. However, some people like builders and scaffolders are required to work outside - whatever the weather. There are a few things you can do to help make using a ladder in the rain safer and more comfortable. So, if you're someone who often finds yourself using a ladder in the rain, just keep reading.

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Man standing on a step ladder

Before using a step ladder - or any other type of ladder, for that matter - it's important to carry out a thorough risk assessment. This will help you to determine whether a step ladder is actually the safest and most suitable solution for the task at hand.

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Before using a step ladder, you need to ensure that it is suitable and safe to use. If it isn’t and you decide to use it anyway, there could be some serious consequences in relation to your health and safety. To avoid any unwanted problems below is a step ladder inspection checklist that you can follow to ensure that your step ladder is safe to use. Please read each step carefully and fill in the relevant information where needed.

Step ladders should be checked briefly before every use and formally inspected every 6 months (if used once a week or more) or 12 months (if used less than once a week) using this checklist.

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By following the above checklist, you can ensure that your step ladder is completely safe to use. If your step ladder, however, is not fit for use, we have an extensive range of step ladders to choose from right here at Ladders UK Direct. From regular to GRP step ladders and warehouse to platform steps, we have a step ladder to suit every and any need.

Click below to browse our collection. For more information on our step ladders, be sure to get in touch with us today – we’d love to hear from you.

Buy Step Ladders >

When it comes to ladder safety, you can never be too cautious. While you might think that climbing in and out of your loft ladder is a fairly safe manoeuvre, there's still a very real possibility that an accident could occur.

In fact, climbing in and out of the attic can be more dangerous than you might think for the following reasons:

  • The space for the ladder is limited
  • You might have large, cumbersome items in your hands
  • Your loft ladder might be old and inadequate

One small wobble and you could find yourself flat out on the landing with the Christmas decorations strewn all around, so it's important that you choose a loft ladder that's sturdy, stable and capable of carrying an appropriate maximum weight. 

Fitted loft ladders

Although you might think it's okay to grab a ladder out of the shed on the rare occasion that you need something from the attic, investing in a fitted loft ladder is usually a far safer option.

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we offer a wide range of loft ladders that comply with safety regulations, while also offering excellent stability. Choose either a wooden or an aluminium loft ladder depending on your style and needs. We even offer a variety of loft stairs which provide you with permanent loft access and boast a lovely traditional design.

Shop All Loft Ladders >

Aluminium or wood?

You might be wondering whether aluminium or wooden ladders are the safer options. Well, here's what you should consider while you're trying to choose between the two. If your loft ladder will be on display, then you might want to go for a wooden loft ladder with a charming traditional appearance. These ladders can be painted to match your decor and will offer excellent stability. We often recommend wooden loft ladders for elderly people because they're a little more robust than their aluminium counterparts.  

Shop Wooden Loft Ladders >

If cost is more of a concern, we offer a whole range of aluminium ladders that are still very safe to use. Aluminium ladders come in a variety of styles including concertina and sliding. Of these two styles, sliding loft ladders offer slightly more stability than concertina - so if you're planning to use your loft ladder frequently you might favour this kind. That being said, our concertina loft ladders are certified to the necessary safety regulations and are sure to get you in and out of your loft without a hitch. 

Shop Aluminium Loft Ladders >

Loft ladder safety tips

Having a fitted loft ladder installed is just one part of loft ladder safety. Realistically, you can still injure yourself if you use your loft ladder incorrectly. Here are a few loft ladder safety tips to help you get in and out of the attic smoothly.

1. Maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times

2. Check that there is no damage to the loft ladder or hatch before you start your climb

3. Don't carry items up the ladder that are too large or heavy

4. Ask for help if you're struggling to get something in/out of the loft

5. Don't attempt to drop from the loft hatch or slide down the loft ladder

6. Keep vulnerable people, children and pets well out of the way

7. Don't strain to put things in or take things out of the loft

8. Make sure you have sensible shoes or footwear on before you climb the ladder

 

Hopefully, this blog gives you some insight on how to choose and use a loft ladder safely. For more ladder safety tips - click here. If you have any questions about loft ladders or loft ladder safety, don't hesitate to drop us an email sales@laddersukdirect.co.uk.

funny ladder stories

We preach about the safe use of ladders on a regular basis. In fact, we've got a whole collection of blogs that focus primarily on the safe use of ladders! Of course, as with every walk of life, there are some people who just love to break the rules and generally behave in a dangerous manner.

We call these people, idiots on ladders. This is not just a term we have coined for ourselves, this is a legitimate term that even has an annual competition that's run by the Ladder Association. That's right, people send photographs of dangerous ladder users in, and the most ridiculous of the bunch wins.

For now, we want to show you some of the funniest, and most dangerous ladder stories that we've come across. Don't be fooled, we aren't trying to inspire or encourage you to be one of the biggest idiots on a ladder (it's definitely not a good achievement) - but we can appreciate a funny story when we read one!

 

The Bin Ladder

Let's start with a gentleman who clearly couldn't wait to fix the vent on the outside of his home. With a ladder that was clearly a metre or two too short, he decided to balance it on top of a wheelie bin to gain the extra height.

Now, if you've ever felt the lid of a wheelie bin before, you'll know it's fairly pliable - definitely not the flat, firm surface that we'd recommend you use your ladder on. Not only that, but wheelie bins have wheels and can be easily tipped over. One accidental tilt or turn could have sent him flying! You have to laugh at this silly decision & pray that he didn't get hurt...

We'd recommend that this gentleman purchases an extension ladder that's the correct length for the job at hand, in future. We'd probably also urge him to stick to solid ground and use rubber ladder mats for added safety! Whether he'd take our advice or not, is another story.

See the Bin Ladder >

 

The Make-Shift Platform Ladder

Next up is a gentleman who was adding panelling to the outside of his home. Working from the bottom up, he realised that he would need a platform ladder if he was going to be able to do the panelling on the third floor. Rather than investing in a safe, secure and suitable platform ladder, he decided to make his own... oh dear. 

When we say he made his own, what he actually did was strap an old wooden ladder between two extension ladders leant up against the house. And no, he wasn't a few feet off the ground, he was three storeys high! The most worrying thing of all is that he no doubt made the unstable structure even taller to finish the entire house. We're not sure whether or not this project was completed without injury, but we don't imagine it ended well. 

For jobs like this that require time and equipment, professional work platforms and staging boards are the way to go. They offer excellent stability and space so you can get the job done safely. 

Take a look at the make-shift ladder >

 

Close to the Cable

Lastly, we have a gentleman who needed to access the roof of a building in order to carry out some repair work. His decision to use his van as a 'stable surface' for his ladder is one thing (what a silly idea that was), but the really concerning aspect of this story is the ominous overhead cable that he paid very little attention to. Was it a live cable? Who knows. We're not even sure if he knew! If it was, this man could have received a potentially in for a life-threatening shock. Of course, a shock like this would definitely NOT be funny, but you have to laugh at this poor guy's attempt, or you'll cry!

For scenarios like this where you are potentially going to be exposed to an electrical hazard, we would recommend choosing a fibreglass ladder or a set of fibreglass steps (as well as taking his ladder down from the top of his van). These highly non-conductive ladders are fitted with rubber feet for stability and grounding. Taking precautions around electrical hazards like this could seriously save your life.

See the close call >

 

Please remember, we would never, ever, recommend trying any of these things yourself. You should always use your ladder in a safe and proper way! If you're looking for high-quality ladders for a DIY job or for your business, we can help. 

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ladder superstition

Very Superstitious...

Are you the kind of person who avoids stepping on the cracks? Do you get a shiver down your spine when someone puts their new shoes on a table? Do you touch wood after expressing an abnormal amount of optimism? If so, you're in the right place. Today we're talking all about the age-old superstition that walking under a ladder is bad luck. If you think it's all a load of hocus pocus, then just head back to the homepage and shop for your new ladder.

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