Working on a roof can be a risky business, posing a variety of hazards. Naturally, none of these hazards are more ominously dangerous than a fall from height.
Around 48,000 Brits take a trip to A&E every year as a result of a ladder accident in and around the home. Worse still, the number of ladder-related fatalities also makes for seriously grim reading.
As such, knowledge of ladder use is a vital part of worker safety, whether you’re a professional window cleaner or an amateur DIY guy cleaning the roof gutters.
If you plan on using a roof ladder for your next job, it’s well worth boning up on your roof ladder knowledge beforehand.
As luck would have it, you’ve come to the right place as this very blog is dedicated to all things roof ladders, specifically designed to help you get a step ahead.
What Are Roof Ladders?
Also known as cat ladders, roof access ladders provide additional safety for those looking to conduct rooftop activities, such as dedicated roofers and TV aerial/satellite installers.
The key feature that differentiates a roof ladder from a standard ladder is the presence of a hooked end at the very top.
This hook can be attached to the brow of the roof, securing it in place and providing additional stability during the rooftop activity.
Legalities Behind Roof Ladder Safety
From a legal perspective, using a roof ladder falls under a number of safety restrictions, including the following legal elements:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007
However, perhaps the most important and relevant of the regulations relating to ladder use is The Work at Height Regulations 2005.
This mandates that employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people.
When it comes to rooftop competence, knowledge is undoubtedly power. To help you stay abreast of how to use a roof ladder, be sure to read over the following points:
Before Using Your Roof Ladder
Before you begin your rooftop job, it’s important to that you know your roof ladder is long enough for the task at hand.
As a rule of thumb, your ladder should be long enough to reach from the eaves to the peak of the roof ridge.
Once you have verified that your ladder is fit for purpose, you should ensure that your extension ladder is firmly placed on level/stable ground for you to begin your ascent.
How to Use a Roof Ladder Safely
Right, now down to business…
Once your roof ladder has been positioned onto the roof, it’s time to securing it in place for safe and secure use.
Start with by placing the wheels of the ladder on the roof with the hook facing up. This will allow you to easily slide the roof ladder into place.
If you need to extend the ladder in order to reach the peak of the roof, unlock the safety clips and lengthen the ladder so that it is long enough for the hook to reach the rooftop.
Once the required ladder length has been reached, lock the safety clips in place and wheel the ladder up the rooftop, flipping it over once you reach the peak.
After the rubber hook has surpassed the ridge tile, slot the ladder into place, giving it a light pull to ensure it is indeed secure.
From there, your roof ladder should be ready to use. To unfasten the roof ladder, simply follow the above steps in reverse.
If you are to be working on the roof for any length of time, it’s wise to consider additional safety equipment, such as a harness or an appropriate fall arrest system.
So, there you have it – a rung-by-rung account of how to use a roof ladder. If you're looking to purchase a roof ladder, we've got some great deals here at Ladders UK Direct!
Buy Roof Ladders >>