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20 Dec 2023

are wooden ladders safe

Wooden ladders are perfectly safe, as long as they are properly maintained and inspected before use.

As with any piece of height access equipment, it is vitally important to follow the proper safety procedures when using a wooden ladder. A huge number of working at height related injuries happen as a result of falls from ladders, so understanding how to inspect and use one properly is key.


How to make sure your wooden ladder is safe

If you’re planning to purchase a wooden ladder, the first thing you need to do is check that it is certified by the FSC. This just proves that the wood is of good quality and has been responsibly and sustainably sourced.

Wooden ladders are more susceptible to cracks and splits, so they need to be protected from the effects of weathering. If your ladder does not already have a preservative coating, we recommend using a transparent sealant. This can help to prevent brittleness and cracking in the wood, particularly if it is to be kept outdoors.

Temperature fluctuation can also cause wooden ladders to warp so, if you can, it’s best to store wooden ladders somewhere dry and cool when not in use.

We don’t recommend painting your wooden ladder with coloured paint, as this can make it difficult to spot any cracks or defects in the wood.


How to inspect a wooden ladder

Before using a wooden ladder, you must inspect it for any signs of damage or distortion. Here are some key areas to inspect:

  • Check for signs of rot and decay.
  • Check for any cracks or splits in the wood.
  • Make sure the rungs are stable and not broken or warped.
  • Look out for any small pieces of wood sticking out of the stiles that could cause punctures/lacerations or snag clothing.

It’s also a good idea to equip your wooden ladder with non-slip feet to help secure it in place when in use. You’ll also need to inspect the feet every time you use your ladder for signs of wear and tear.

For more general ladder safety information, check out our handy Ladder Safety Infographic.


Wooden ladders from Ladders UK Direct

Here at Ladders UK Direct, all of the wooden ladders we supply have been produced using sustainable manufacturing processes and high-quality raw materials from the world's leading ladder brands. Click the link below to shop.

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