Ladder Safety

Don’t become a ladder accident statistic…

Did you know that people using ladders accounts for about 45% of falls from height accidents in the UK? The statistics worldwide are similar (ladder falls aren’t just a UK thing!).

It’s estimated that, in the UK, around 2 million ladders are in use on a daily basis. So it probably doesn’t come as a suprise that ladders account for 45% of falls from height. One of the striking facts about this figure is that this is only the accidents that are investigated by the Health & Safety Executive.

So with DIY accident data not included, the true figure is likely to be much higher.


of falls from height accidents are ladder related

Recommended Partner – Additional Safety Product – Introducing the LadderM8rix


The LadderM8rix Industrial can be used on virtually all exterior hazardous surfaces. It not only has the unique engaging pins on the base, but also on the top. This can be used in areas where there could be clay, diesel or any residue that could compromise the rubber feet on the base of the ladder.

Top Tips for Ladder Safety

So as you can see, the (poor) use of ladders is a major cause of height related accidents both in the workplace and at home.

Set up for leaning ladders

  • Make sure you do a daily pre-use check
  • It’s best practice to secure the ladder by tying to a suitable point to prevent movement
  • The underlying ground should be firm, hard and level
  • The maximum safe ground side slope is 16 degrees (level the rungs with a suitable device)
  • The maximum safe ground back slope is 6 degrees (level with a suitable device)
  • Make sure you have a strong upper resting point (i.e. not plastic guttering)
  • If you’re inside, floors must be clean and not slippery
  • You should ensure ladders are fitted with anti-slip feet

Leaning ladders in-use

  • Keep work to short durations (maximum 30 minutes)
  • The ladder angle should be 75 degrees – 1 in 4 rule (1 unit out for 4 units up)
  • Always, always grip the ladder when climbing it
  • Do not overreach and keep both feet on the same rung
  • Do not work off the top three rungs – this provides a handhold
  • Maintain three points of contact with the ladder (minimum of both feet and one hand) – BUY YOUR LADDERLIMB!!!
  • Warning signs should be displayed in public areas and protection from traffic is essential – that includes pavements!
  • Your tools and equipment should be secured at all times when working on, or going up or down a ladder – BUY YOUR LADDERLIMB!!!

Set up for stepladders

  • You should always carry out a d
    aily pre-use check (feet included)
  • Ensure there is space to fully open the ladders
  • Make sure you use any locking mechanisms the ladder has
  • Again, the ground should be firm, hard and level
  • If inside, all floors should be clean, not slippery
  • Ladders are fitted with anti-slip feet

Stepladders in use

  • It’s recommended that you use the ladders for short duration work (maximum 30 minutes)
  • You must not work off the top two steps for swing – back/double sided stepladders) unless you have a safe handhold on the steps

Read the guides from the HSE

Working at Height – A Brief Guide

Safe Use of Ladders – A Brief Guide

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