Climbing a ladder

Unless you have a fear of heights, there's no reason to be afraid of using a ladder. A ladder isn't dangerous as long as it's in good condition and you use it safely.

Here's what you can do to minimise risk when using a ladder...


Inspect your ladder before every use

Standing on a damaged ladder may be dangerous, so before you climb your ladder, take a good look at it: are there any parts missing? Are any of the rungs loose or bent out of shape? Are the ladder's feet losing their grip?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, you should use a different ladder - one that's in better shape.

Read more: How often should ladders be inspected?


Stay safe while you're using the ladder

There are certain rules that you should always obey when you're on a ladder. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the Health & Safety Executive's ladder safety guidelines, especially if your job requires you to work at height on a regular basis.

Of course, much of the HSE's advice is just common sense: don't overload the ladder, don't lean too far to one side, make sure the ladder's feet are firmly in contact with the ground, etc.

Read more: What NOT to do on a ladder


Remember: ladders aren't suitable for all situations

A ladder isn't the only way to work at height. Certain circumstances may call for an alternative height access solution, like a scaffold tower.

In particular, you should not use a ladder if you can't keep it stable or if you will be working for longer than half an hour.

Read more: Ladders vs scaffold towers - what's the right choice for your job?

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