Ladders are brilliant - quick to set up, easy to climb, and very safe if used properly (see How to Climb a Ladder Safely).
But a ladder isn't the right tool for every job. In some cases, you'll be able to work safer and more efficiently if you use scaffolding to reach the required height instead of an extension ladder.
If you've got some high-up work to carry out and you're unsure whether a ladder or a scaffold tower would be better suited to your needs, read on...
When should I use a ladder?
Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines state that ladders are ideal for:
- Low-risk situations
- Tasks that will take no more than 30 minutes
- Environments where the ladder will be level and stable while in use
It's important to carry out a risk assessment before you decide to use a ladder. Make sure you'll be able to secure the ladder, and if you're likely to be working for more than half an hour, consider using an alternative access method.
When should I use a scaffold tower?
Our scaffold towers are ideal for situations that would make it difficult to use a ladder safely. Erecting a scaffold takes longer than setting up a ladder, but if it reduces your risk of falling from height and sustaining an injury, it's worth it.
Consider using a scaffold tower instead of a ladder if:
- You need to work at height for more than 30 minutes
- You need greater freedom of movement while working at height
- You are unable to secure / stabilise your ladder
A scaffold platform allows you to move around more while you're working, whereas a ladder would need to be repositioned if you're working on a wide area. Also, if you're doing fiddly work that requires the use of both hands, a scaffold tower may be preferable (since you're supposed to keep three points of contact with a ladder at all times).
Whether you need a ladder or a scaffold tower, we're confident you'll find a suitable solution here at Ladders UK Direct. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you can't track down what you're looking for.
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