Looking after ladders

If you use ladders at work, it’s just common sense to ensure that you are using a safe ladder and it will do what you need it to do!

Checking your ladder
1. Allow one metre of ladder length above the highest rung you use. Never stand on the top three rungs.

2. New ladders are marked according to their safe working load – check this before using the ladder.

3. All ladders should meet the required British or European standards, which are either measured by either Duty Rating (British) or Maximum Vertical Static Load (Europe). Check these out – a big person can easily exceed these and the last thing anyone wants is a ladder failing when you’re at the top of it.

4. Check any ladder you are planning to us for defects of any kind, cracks, loose rungs, bent stiles (the uprights), missing rubber feet, corrosion, etc.

Danger signals
When you’re using a ladder make sure you observe the basic safety rules.

1. Make sure a door is locked, blocked or guarded by someone if you are up a ladder in front of it.

2. Don’t use a ladder in strong wind.

3. Don’t use a ladder near any power lines.

4. Don’t be tempted to use a ladder if you’re not fit enough, or suffer from giddiness or aren’t confident with heights.

5. Don’t allow any child under sixteen to use a ladder.

If you follow basic good practice you keep yourself and your colleagues safe.