Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and responses. If you cannot find an answer, please get in touch with us by email or telephone, and our friendly sales staff will answer them, and we’ll add them to this page to help guide future questions.
What is working at height?
Working at height is defined as any work that takes place above ground level where there is a risk of falling. This can include jobs such as construction, cleaning or maintenance.
What is the correct angle to use my ladder?
The ideal angle is between 70-75 degrees, but this may depend on your ladder, so check the instructions. The primary method to correctly calculate the right angle is to adjust for every four feet of ladder height you are climbing and move the ladder’s base one foot away from the wall.
Alternatively, you can hold a ladder with your arms straight out, holding the ladder stiles (side rails). Then, with the ladder feet touching your own, the ladder will form a natural 70-75 angle. Firefighters are taught this method to quickly adjust the ladder to the correct angle.
What are the risks associated with working at height?
The main risks associated with working at height are falling and injuries caused by impact. Workers can also be injured by objects that fall from height. It is essential to take into account these risks when planning a job and to use the correct safety equipment to mitigate them.
What do you recommend for recording an inspection?
We recommend using the Good to Go Safety Tags available for both ladders and steps as well as a scaffold tower system. These tags are simple to keep records with and if a piece of equipment fails, then the tag shows the user that it cannot be used.
Can I use a harness on my ladder?
Yes, you can use a harness on a ladder. However, there are many different types of harnesses so it is important to select the most suitable for the task in hand. It is also recommended that the ladder is securely fixed or tied off. For more details, please contact our sales team – 02921320000
When should I use a scaffold tower instead of a ladder?
If you are planning to work at height for a long period of time, then you should consider a scaffold tower. For example, if you are fitting new windows, an air-conditioning system or signage, then you should be working from a large, safe platform such as a scaffold tower. If you have to make short trips up a ladder for inspection purposes, then using a ladder is acceptable.
What if my ladder has a dent, or missing feet or rungs?
If your ladder is dented or has missing feet or rungs, then it should either be repaired or replaced. If the ladder is for scrap, then it should be cut down the middle to prevent other users from using it. The bottom line is that the ladder is unsafe to use and will likely result in a fall if used.
How often should I check my ladder?
You should check your ladder or working at height equipment everytime you use it. This needs be just a visual look over, to check that nothing is broken, missing or damaged and need only take a minute or two.
The following checklist should help:
- Stiles must be in good condition – bent or split stiles could buckle under your weight
- Feet should be ribbed and not worn, damaged or missing – the ladder is likely to slip if so
- Check rungs are not bent, missing or loose
- Check the locking stays on your step ladder are not damaged, bent or missing – these help keep the step stable when in use
- Ensure that platforms on your step ladders or equipment is not bent, cracked, missing or otherwise damaged
- If your ladder has paint on it, remove it. Otherwise you cannot be sure that the ladder is free from loose nuts, missing rivets, splits or damage
- If this ladder is in use in the workplace, then the checks should be correctly recorded using a Ladder Tag system.
Ladder standards are changing, can I still my Class 1 ladder?
The short answer is yes you can, while the ladder remains in good working condition and free from defects. However, if your ladder needs to be replaced, it should be replaced with a new EN131 Professional ladder for use in the work place.