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10 Ladder facts

Important facts to know about ladders.

10 Ladder facts

1. Ladders are not banned
Choose the right equipment for work at height based on a risk assessment. If it’s right to use a ladder, use the right ladder and get trained to use it safely.

2. Product standards show how to use the right ladder
Ladders are classified as BS2037/BS1129 Class 3 for domestic use and should NEVER be used in any workplace. EN131 is for trade and light industrial use and BS2037/BS1129 Class 1 for heavy duty and industrial use.

3. Simple guidance can save lives
Make sure you have a ladder tall enough to do the job. Position it correctly at the right angle and tie it in whenever possible. Do not overreach – your belt buckle should always be inside the sides of the ladder. Be especially careful when carrying out tasks that can apply unbalancing loads, such as drilling.

4. The acid test for ladders
Quite simply, low risk and short duration.

5. How do you define short duration?
Single tasks that take longer than 30 minutes in one position are not suitable for ladders. You can undertake a series of tasks that take longer, but each individual task should not last longer than 30 minutes.

6. And if it’s longer than 30 minutes for a single task?
Consider if another type of work equipment would be more appropriate

7. Taking the right measures starts on the ground
Eliminate or minimise the risks before proceeding. For example, use the Ladder Association’s risk assessment cards.

8. Planning ahead is vital
Make sure the work is correctly organised and planned. Remember, you also need to plan for the possibility of things not going right.

9. The law requires competence
A competent person is defined as someone who by virtue of qualification, experience and training is able to perform a specific activity in a safe and proper manner.

10. Training is key
Demonstration of competence is a key requirement of the Work at Height Regulations (WAHR), and successful completion of the Ladder Association’s industry standard training course contributes significantly to providing that proof of competence.

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