Ladders are great pieces of equipment that help you complete tasks at height safely and efficiently. They work to minimise the risks associated with working at heights by providing stability for the user whilst they complete their job. But when is it the best time to use a ladder and not just your natural reach? 

If you have ever wondered when to use a ladder and when not, this blog aims to clear things up. Here, we will look at the times when a ladder is absolutely vital to ensure safe and effective work can be carried out and some tips that will help you remain safe whilst using your ladder. 

So, let's get right into it! 


When you should use a ladder 

According to the law, ladders can be used for work at height when a risk assessment has shown that using equipment and tools that offer a greater degree of fall protection is not justified due to the low risk and short duration of use, or there are existing workplace features which cannot be altered. 

Duration, however, should not be the deciding factor when determining when to use a ladder and instead, risk should be prioritised. As a rough guide, if the work that you need to carry out requires you to stay on a leaning ladder or step ladder for more than 30 minutes at a time, it is recommended that you think about using alternative pieces of equipment.

The only times where it is recommended to use a ladder is during situations where they can be used in a safe manner e.g. where the ladder can be kept stable and level and where necessary, the ladder can be secured to ensure maximum safety. 

All of this information mainly applies within a working environment, however, it can also be used to determine when to use a ladder around the home. If you can't quite reach the height needed to complete a task, a ladder will more often than not be required. If you can safely reach the desired out without any assistance and without putting your health at risk then a ladder may not be necessary. 


Staying safe whilst using a ladder 

As we've touched on above, a ladder should only be used when conditions allow it such as being placed on a level and stable ground. This is just one of the tips that you should follow when using a ladder to help minimise the risk of an accident occurring. Others include:

  • Not overreaching 
  • Avoid carrying awkwardly-shaped loads 
  • Never using a ladder whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs 
  • Keeping both feet on the rungs at all times 
  • Using an additional person to stand at the foot of the ladder for extra support
  • Always maintaining three points of contact whilst climbing up or down the ladder 

You can learn more about the safe use of ladders in our previous blog below. 

Ladder Safety Tips >


We hope this blog has helped you to better understand when to use a ladder and when not to. If needed, be sure to follow the simple safety tips above to ensure you remain safe and are able to carry out your work without risking your or somebody else's safety.

If you need to use a ladder but don't have one or the one you have is in need of replacing, we have a quality range of various ladder types that will ensure you can get the job done. You can browse our full collection below.  

Browse Our Ladders >


If you require any more information on our range of ladders or when to use ladders, then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Ladders UK Direct team today - we'd be more than happy to help.