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Inspecting a ladder

Ladder inspections can prevent accidents!

Inspecting a ladder

The two methods for inspecting ladders are:

  • Detailed visual inspections should be carried out regularly by a competent person. These inspections will be outlined in the manufacturer’s instruction manual
  • Pre-use checks should be carried out before starting a task, and repeated every time something changes – like the ladder being dropped or moved to a different area

Pre-use checks: ‘Is my ladder dodgy?’

The checklist below, approved by the Health & Safety Executive, explains some of the most important things to look for in a pre-use check. If you are still unsure after carrying out this check, one of the Ladder Association’s expert members will be able to help.

  1. Stiles must be in good condition as bent or split stiles could lead to collapse
  2. Make sure feet are not worn, damaged, dirty or missing, or else the ladder could slip.
  3. Confirm the rungs are not bent, missing or loose to keep your ladder stable
  4. Make sure the locking bars work and are not bent, worn or damaged or the ladder could collapse
  5. Make sure treads are not contaminated or slippery
  6. Make sure platforms on stepladders aren’t split or buckled as it may lead to instability or collapse
  7. Check steps on stepladders and make sure fixings aren’t loose or else the ladder may collapse

If your ladder is dirty clean it. Damage can be hidden beneath all the dirt, and the dirt itself can cause the ladder to slip or you to slip from the ladder.