STOP RIGHT THERE! If you've been asked to hold a ladder for someone while they work at height, please do not agree to do so! Holding a ladder for someone not only puts them at risk but puts you at risk too. Nowadays, there is absolutely no need for someone to hold a ladder for you while you climb, there are a number of safer, more reliable ways to secure a ladder that will prevent accidental slips and falls.
What are my options?
Asking someone to hold a ladder for you should really be a last resort - even then, we don't really recommend it. Here are some other options you should consider first!
- Secure the ladder to a nearby anchor point. This can be done using ladder hooks or rope.
- Place ladder mats under the feet of the ladder to create more traction between the ladder and the ground.
- Use a ladder stability device that's specifically designed to secure the ladder in place.
- Wedge something sturdy underneath the ladder to prevent the feet from moving around.
The importance of ladder positioning
One of the biggest mistakes people make when using a ladder is failing to position it properly. First things first, assess the ground where you intend to use the ladder. Is it flat? Is it stable? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then you're off to a bad start. Even a ladder that's fully secured is likely to wobble (or topple) if it's used on uneven ground. If you can, you should prop your ladder up somewhere that's completely flat and stable.
The way in which you set the ladder up is so important if you want to prevent accidents. As a general rule of thumb, you should position your ladder at a 75-degree angle against the wall. This is also commonly known as the 4-in-1 rule. By propping the ladder up in the correct way, you can increase its stability and reduce the chance of a slip or fall - without having to rely on someone to hold the ladder.
Read More - Ladder Angle: What is the 4-in-1 rule?
I still can't make my ladder stable, what should I do?
If you feel like you've exhausted all of your options and you still don't feel safe to climb your ladder without someone holding it, we'd recommend using a different type of ladder. A step ladder or a combination ladder can offer better stability in a situation where the ground is uneven or the extension ladder is unsteady.
These ladders have multiple contact points with the ground, rather than relying on a wall or supporting surface. This means they can be used in precarious locations like stairs and gardens. Take a look at some of our step and combination ladders below:
Step Ladders > Combination Ladders >
Remember, if you ever feel like you can't climb a ladder safely, stop what you're doing. There's always an alternative option out there that will enable you to get the job done safely. Take a look at some of our other ladder safety blogs below.
More Ladder Safety Blogs >