How safe is your loft ladder?

Have you ever struggled to carry a heavy or bulky item up to your loft? Chances are, then, that you may have noticed how rickety and inadequate your current loft ladder is. Loft ladders don’t always seem to be designed for heavy or frequent use. If this is the case with yours, or if you’re considering upgrading your loft from storage space to living space, there are a number of important issues to consider. It’s wise to have a plan because if you’ve ever tried to do a major home renovation without one, then you’re very well aware how difficult it can be. Many people in your position have successfully made better use of their loft space by upgrading their loft ladder. This post will explain why such an upgrade is the first thing you should do, and how to take the correct measurements so that it’s done right.

Loft Ladders: Key Features to Consider

If you’re shopping for loft ladders, take a few minutes to think about how you’re using the space now, and how it might be used in the future. The ideal way to ensure you acquire the right ladder for your particular needs is to do some research on what sort of loft ladder will be adequate for your specific needs. Be sure that your new loft ladder will allow you to make the best possible use of the space. If it doesn’t, then it’s not likely that you’ll fully exploit your loft’s potential. A strong and sturdy loft ladder is essential, because safety is the primary concern. You should also think about the maximum load the ladder will bear. This is the total of your weight plus the weight of the heaviest object you plan to move to or from the loft. While not strictly necessary, you might want to look for a ladder with bonus features like rubberised feet that prevent slipping and damaging your floors and carpet and handrails for extra security.

Loft Ladders: The Correct Measurements are Essential

Too often, it happens that a homeowner orders a loft ladder, only to find that it’s not quite the right size. Here’s a brief run-down on the key measurements you’ll need. In general, a good place to start is with the floor to ceiling height.  This is the vertical distance from the floor where the base of the ladder will sit to the ceiling of the room. This dimension is particularly important if you’re planning on installing a folding-style wooden loft ladder with integral hatch or concertina loft ladder.  Another important dimension is the floor to floor height. This is the vertical distance between the floor where the bottom of the ladder will rest and the floor of the loft. If you’re planning on fitting a sliding type ladder, this dimension is especially important. Compare your measurements with the minimum and maximum values cited for the loft ladder you’re considering.  Do be aware that although the ladder can be slightly adjusted, it’s best to choose one that closely conforms to your measurements.

Loft Ladders: More Important Dimensions

Whether you have an existing hatch or need to fit one, pay special attention to the ladder’s loft opening specification. For a ladder designed to go into an existing loft hatch (typically sliding and concertina designs) you will need to consider the minimum length and width of the hatch to find out if it will suit you.  If you are looking at a ladder which comes with its own hatch you will need to consider the outer frame dimensions. If it’s bigger than your existing hatch, then it’s a simple matter to enlarge the opening.  If it’s smaller, you’re likely to need a bit of framing done to ensure a good fit. Here’s a typical example: Let’s say you’ve measured your loft opening, and the size is 1100mm x 600mm. When shopping for a ladder, you find one that needs an opening of 1100mm x 700mm. This ladder will fit quite nicely with a little bit of work to the length of the hatch. You also need to consider both vertical and horizontal clearance.

Loft Ladder: Clearances are Critically Important

Vertical and horizontal clearance describes the distance in the loft between the hinged edge of the hatch vertically and horizontally to any nearby obstruction that you aren’t able to alter or relocate. This measurement takes into account the distance (arc) that the ladder must pass through to be fully deployed and resting on the floor. The bottom section of a two-section folding loft ladder, for example, describes an arc when it’s folded down toward the floor.  Also, measure the swing clearance, which is the distance from the loft hinge end to the end of the loft hatch to the nearest obstruction, which usually proves to be a wall. Finally, the ladder’s landing space should be considered. This is the distance from the hatch’s hinge to the place on the floor where the ladder’s feet rest, once it’s fully extended. Measure this distance horizontally along the floor.

Loft Ladders: Timber or Aluminium?

If the loft ladder is to be used in an area where it will be seen, then its appearance is important. For such applications, a timber ladder is the best choice. Such a ladder can be painted or stained to match the surrounding decor. If cost is a concern, then it’s wise to consider a loft ladder made from light and durable aluminium. Whilst an aluminium ladder isn’t as attractive as a timber one, the price is likely to be lower. It should be possible to find an aluminium loft ladder for about £70 for a sectional folding model. If you opt for the retractable concertina style ladder, expect to pay about £160.  A concertina ladder is a good choice for applications where either loft or floor access space is limited.

With all the types of loft ladders available, you’re sure to find the right one for your unique needs.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Extension ladders which offer the very best safety features!

We are very proud of our extension ladders which offer the very best safety features available on the market today. An extension ladder is the ladder of choice for many householders and tradespeople alike due to its versatile nature. Buying your extension ladder from BPS Access Solutions will ensure you will own an extension ladder that leads the way. Not only do we consider the quality materials your ladder is constructed with, we also consider extensively the design and usability of our ladders.

BPS – Leading the way in design

The BPS Access Solutions extension ladder is a 3 section ladder. This makes it easier to store as the ladder will be more compact thus making it easier to transport. Many tradesmen buy this ladder from us as it folds up neatly to transport on a smaller van such a Transit Connect.

If you have been shopping around for the perfect extension ladder, you may have noticed some extension ladders are sold as a 2 section equivalent. Although the price on these may be cheaper, they will not have the same versatile qualities as our extension ladder has. Furthermore consider what your needs will be for this ladder. Our extension ladders are ideal for use around the home and are also strong enough to be used by tradesmen. Check the certification of the ladder. Both our extension ladder ranges are certified with either EN131 tested and certified (Trade and DIY use) or British Standard Kitemark (BS 2037 Class 1) rated for trade/industrial use. These certifications exist for your safety and reassurance. If you are a trades person and use your ladder extensively (excuse the pun!) for your work, we would recommend our industrial extension ladder.

BPS – Leading the way in safety

Our extension ladders lead the way thanks to our innovative and vital safety features that are not found anywhere else. In particular we would like to draw to your attention to our

  • Marketing leading integral stabiliser bars fitted for maximum grip and safety. We are yet to find any other ladders that offer such a large footprint as our own. Our stabiliser bars give you unparalleled stability.

You can also be assured of our other market leading safety features and would urge you to compare to other similar models you may find elsewhere. Before you purchase are you getting:

  • Red auto locking clamps designed to lock ladder sections firmly in place both when in use and when being transported.
  • Extra large heavy duty box section stiles/sides which are exceptionally strong and built to last.
  • Extra wide non-slip rungs with perfect twist proof rung joints that run all the way through the side sections.
  • Extra strong nylon restraint straps and notches which ensure you have the correct rung overlap between sections, eliminating dangerous bounce as you climb the ladder.
  • Overlapping rubber feet which ensure 100% stability and maximum grip on all sections – floor surfaces, top and on all sections which maximises grip on floor surfaces and walls.
  • Easy to climb – rungs are set only 265mm apart ensuring ease and comfort as well as safety when climbing.

So with all these features, your ladder will cost me a fortune we hear you say

Absolutely not! (music to your ears, no doubt!) Our prices are the most competitive found on the market and to ensure we offer you the best deal, we check our competitors price daily and include free next day delivery as standard to mainland UK.

BPS Leading the way in quality

We have a size of extension ladder available for every home and every job ranging from 4.07m to 10m. Put an end to humping around or expensive transportation costs too. This ladder is constructed from ergonomically designed lightweight alloy for ease of use. However it is very strong and holds a massive 23.5 stone, with our industrial extension ladder holding up to a colossal 27.5 stone. Both versions of our extension ladder are operated by an effortless push up operation.


We are so proud of our extension ladders and firmly believe you will not find anything better on the market. We know because we have carried out market comparisons. This coupled with our celebrated after sales service and our lifetime guarantee as offered as standard on every ladder purchased, we truly don’t believe we can be beaten on design, safety or quality.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Loft Ladders, Loft Stairs and Loft Conversions: Understanding the Many Building Regulations

Loft LaddersJust do a quick internet search on building regulations in the UK and you will see a confusing myriad of UK local authority laws that govern the use and erection of loft ladders, loft stairs and loft conversions. For example, why must loft stairs conform to building regulations, while there is no such requirement for loft ladders? This is because local authorities see the installation of a stairway as the beginning of a process to use a loft as a living space, rather than storage space. In this case, the regulations are more stringent. Loft areas that are used for storage generally aren’t accessed often. This is different from accessing a loft that’s been converted into living space that people will need to access frequently, such as a sleeping or study area. With more frequent use comes a greater chance of an accident. So, the enhanced building regulations exist to prevent injuries and to ensure the conversion proceeds according to all relevant rules and standards.

Nowadays we seem to have more possessions than we could ever use. Even items that aren’t particularly useful have monetary or sentimental value that often prevents us from discarding or donating them to a charity shop. If you need to store such items in your loft for infrequent access, a loft ladder will be the lowest cost and lowest hassle solution.

A Few Details on Applicable Building Regulations

Escape or ‘egress’ during a fire is one concern many local authorities have regarding loft ladders and loft conversions. If the space is used as a bedroom, this becomes a prime consideration because a person can escape more quickly by way of stairs than a ladder. For this reason, any loft stairs you install come under the purview of your local authority. Some homeowners claim that installing stairs simply gives easier access to a loft that’s being used for storage, but once the stairs are there, most local authorities recognise the loft’s potential as a living space. Though this often is not directly stated, the fact is that a loft almost always transforms into a habitable area when stairs are installed, and the rules are there to prevent injury and misuse.

Undertaking a Conversion Project

Whilst it’s not strictly necessary, we do recommend that you obtain a copy of the rules that apply to your project and read them thoroughly. What you’ll discover is that the regulations are highly detailed. The regulations we’re discussing are those that apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, they’re different. So, what exactly are building regulations? Well, they set out the minimum standards that are allowed for construction and design. For loft conversions, there are five main categories. Structural stability, fire safety, ventilation, access method and insulation.

About Structural Stability

If you plan to use the loft for living space or to store particularly heavy items, it’s likely you’ll have to reinforce existing ceiling joists or install entirely new ones. You’ll also need to ensure that load-bearing walls are adequately strong to support any increased weight. The same is true of loft ladders. They must be substantial enough and conform to all regulations. Many homeowners opt to install steel beams designed to support the enhanced joists. Also, evaluate the roof to ensure whether or not it should be reinforced or altered to conform with the loft conversion’s design.

About Fire Safety

Fire regulations are the strict and rightly so. It’s imperative that any loft conversion fully conforms to all applicable fire and safety regulations, including those related to fire doors. The converted loft’s walls and floor must have the ability to resist fire for thirty minutes. If you’re using glass in the conversion, it must be fire-resistant as well. Be sure to provide a method of egress by way of a protected stairway. In the past, escape windows were considered adequate, but the regulations no longer allow them, except in very narrowly defined applications. You’ll also be required to install fire alarms that are operated by mains power.

About Ventilation

Be sure you understand the terms “rapid ventilation” and “background ventilation” when undertaking a loft conversion. To provide rapid ventilation, you’ll have to install a window with a size that equates to 1/20th of the loft’s floor area. If the converted space will become a bathroom, mechanical ventilation that extracts 15 litres per second is required. The roof must be ventilated to prevent moisture condensation, along with both the eaves and ridge. Finally, an airspace of 50mm minimum must be allowed between the roof and any insulation you might install.

About the Access Method

Many homeowners underestimate the cost of a loft conversion. So, when it comes to choosing an access method, they choose affordable loft ladders over staircases. Be aware that building regulations tend to be quite strict and detailed regarding loft access, but choosing a loft ladder over a staircase can save substantial sumsif you are just creating a storage area.

About Insulation

For a loft to provide truly useful space, it should be thoroughly insulated. In fact, the building regulations and relevant amendments require that the loft, along with any new internal walls, must be insulated.

Just a Few Examples of Building Regulations

The building regulations are highly detailed, so be sure you have a good understanding before beginning the conversion. Here are just a few examples of how you’ll have to conform.  Since 2005, domestic electrical work is controlled under Part P of the regulations.  Beams must not bear into chimneys or the party wall between chimneys. A party wall is a structure that is placed on the border between two properties. It’s important to be careful in these cases, since disputes with neighbours can arise due to the wall being a party feature. The only non-fireproof interior door that’s allowed in a loft conversion is the one that accesses a toilet or bathroom.

As you can see, choosing loft ladders is perhaps the easiest decision you’ll need to make to access your loft space safely and effectively.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

How to use your ladder Safely

Many people worry about using a ladder. This can be for a number of reasons, for example, height can be a barrier or just the worry that not having two feet firmly on the ground will cause them to less balanced. The truth is using a quality ladder which is being used safely and for the right purpose, is the perfect tool for working at height.

In fact, accidents on ladders often occur because risks were taken in the first place – over reaching or placing the ladder in an inappropriate position are the most common causes of accident.

Take care when assembling your ladder

Never rush setting your ladders up. Make sure the locking mechanisms are engaged. Rushing to assemble your ladder could mean that the ladder collapses whilst in use. Rushing from a leafy area into a dry space could mean the ladder slips due to leaves still attached to the ladder feet. A simple check over before ascending your ladder could avoid this terrifying scenario.

When to carry out checks on your ladder

A good quality ladder will last you for many years to come, however it is still vitally important that you, as the user of the ladder carry out a pre-use check on your ladder:

  • at the start of every working day.
  • if something changes such as moving the ladder from a dirty area to a clean area, or if the ladder is dropped etc.

Never take someone elses word that the ladder is safe, always be certain yourself that your ladder is safe before using it.

Never assume that the ladder is safe. Damage can occur during storage or transit that you may be unaware of.

Never consider using a ladder when you feel it may be unsafe. If the ladder is your own, then the outlet from which you replaced it should be able to assist with the replacement of parts which have failed. Here at BPS Access Solutions, we offer a free lifetime guarantee on all of our ladders.

If you do not have a guarantee on your ladder, then the safest option is to replace it.

Never use a ladder which you feel is unsafe.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Work Safer On Scaffold Towers

tie tower to a rigid structure

It may come as no surprise to learn that yet again falls from height continue to result in life changing or fatal injuries in the workplace.

In June 2018 The Health and Safety Executive report that Jhanade Ryan slipped on a roof, sliding down to the edge protection. The toe board of the edge protection snapped and he fell through the scaffold, landing on a sub-station flat roof. He sustained a fracture to his spine, a broken coccyx and nerve damage. Mr Ryan was in hospital for almost three months and is now unable to work due to ongoing mobility issues.

The investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the scaffolding company had not erected the scaffold to a known industry standard or design.

Unfortunately such accidents are showing no signs of abating despite the numerous warning issued by the health and safety executive. Scaffolding and scaffold towers are highly dangerous if they are not erected correctly. In addition, even a correctly assembled scaffold tower will be dangerous if it is not used in accordance with manufacturer guidelines and not designed for the work intended.

The tragedy is, many accidents could be so easily avoided. Working from height always carries a risk and without careful thought and consideration given on how best to carry out the required job is inevitably going to lead to serious accidents.

For more information on working safely on a scaffold tower, view our Scaffold Towers page here:


Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

When was the ladder invented?

home-Extension-LadderDid you know that ladders were invented Mesolithic period, about 10,000 years ago? Cave paintings found in Valencia, Spain depict two people carrying baskets or bags. They’re using a long ladder to access a wild honeybee nest and raid it for its precious content of honey. The ladder as we know it in modern times was developed by the ancient Egyptians and ancient Hebrews.

The most common type of ladder is the ridged ladder. These come in many forms including extension ladders, step ladders, combination ladders and more. To find out more about all the different types of ladders, we wrote a blog post on this back in 2012 covering them in more detail HERE.

In the blog post we cover the forms and types of ladders, safety considerations and how to select the right ladder for the job.

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Truck it – lets use a ladder this way!

ladder in truck Another week and another opportunity for the eagle eyed amongst us to spot another flout of Health and Safety guidelines. This week sees us in a UK town where the back of a pick up truck is being used to place a ladder in order to gain additional height.

What is wrong here – we hope we didn’t hear you say!

Of course, ladders should always be placed on a reliable surface before using them. This is for obvious reasons such as slipping or the ground itself not suitable to place a ladder such as a small area such as a porch roof.

Clearly the back of a pick up truck is a bad idea as the ladder could slip causing a serious accident or the vehicle could move or be hit whilst the ladder is in use. Securing a ladder safely is one of the most important considerations when using a ladder as failure to do so could cost you your life.

Making sure the ladder itself is long enough for the job is also important. It goes without saying really! If you do different tasks around the home or work with ladders, it will be worth your while purchasing an extension ladder which will ensure you will be able to reach most reasonable heights without compromising your safety.

It is easy for a ladder accident to occur – never take the risk

It is never a good idea to knowingly take a risk with a ladder. Ladder accidents can and do occur accidentally. Never put yourself in a position where you risk serious injury or even death. The good news is, ladder accidents are preventable – here are some tips:

  • Inspect the ladder before use
  • Whether you use your ladder occasionally or every day, check for damage before using it. Whether it’s a loft ladder or a multi purpose ladder, check it first. In December 2014, a woman was fatally injured whilst retrieving Christmas decorations from the loft. She stood on a ladder rung that had a single crack in it and it broke while she was standing on it.

    Always inspect your ladder for damage and make sure all the locks are in position before using it. Never use a damaged ladder.

  • Check the weight capacity
  • Ladders do have limitations – one of the main ones being the amount of weight they are designed to carry. It is important that the weight capacity is not exceeded. It is not just your own weight though that you need to consider – tools and materials can add to this weight significantly. If you use or carry weighty tools on your ladder such as paint pots, be sure do not exceed weight capacity as this can lead to frame failure, broken rungs and strain on the locks.

    Check the weight capacity of your ladder and ensure it is not exceeded.

  • Use a ladder correctly
  • Only use a ladder in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Never be tempted to alter or lengthen it yourself. Simple mistakes often contribute to ladder accidents – be sure to keep 3 points of contact on the ladder at all times to avoid over balancing and never over reach. If you need to reach an object that is out of reach, you will have to get off the ladder, move it, then climb up again.

  • Bad positioning
  • Always ensure your ladder is placed on a reliable surface that is free of debris such as wet leaves, gravel, sand and other building materials. Wet areas such as grass and decking can also be serious slipping hazards unless you use a gripper.

    Consider where you are placing your ladder – placing it near doors is a no no even if they are locked and beware of working near to corners. Always warn people that there is a ladder nearby to avoid a nasty accident occurring.

Accidents can be prevented

The most common injury sustained by incorrect ladder use is fractures at 32%. According to the OSHA, 100% of ladder accidents could be prevented if proper attention to equipment and user training was provided.

Ladder accidents can be prevented – you have to take control yourself! 🙂

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

Who needs aluminium ladders?!

ladder in lithuaniaIt goes without saying we all do!

Of course we all know that aluminium is the staple material for ladders unless you work around electricity in which case you may well use a fibreglass ladder.

Wooden ladders are now firmly in the past – or so we thought until we spotted this relic on the internet – apparently spotted in Lithuania. Here it seems that wood and nails are not wasted and are constructed into ladders such as this! Whilst the picture might look quaint with a nice feeling of mountains and chalets to it, the message behind it is quite dangerous.

Wooden ladders as a rule are not safe

Firstly – wooden ladders are not safe ladders. Whilst it would be very unusual indeed to see a home crafted ladder in the UK, there are still wooden ladders in peoples garages to this day. At one time, wooden ladders were the norm, but have long been redundant following the superiority of aluminium.

Wooden ladders are dangerous:

  • Wood can split, buckle and cause injuries such as splinters
  • The rungs can wear quickly and snap
  • No grip underfoot on the rungs
  • Not fire proof
  • No rubber feet

In addition to the physical dangers present, wooden ladders do not carry any form of certification which means that they’re not safe to use even for DIY tasks. A ladder should never be purchased without any form of certification such an EN131 which is European Trade/DIY standard. BS2037 is the Industrial Standard to look for if you plan to use your ladders to carry out your job. Never accept anything other than these approved UK safety standards. Not every country is as stringent in safety standards as the UK.

We mentioned that wood as a rule is not safe – the exception to this is if you are purchasing a wooden ladder which meets the tough safety standards. One such example is our wooden single section/pole ladders. Normally ladders like these are used on scaffolding or other industrial applications, naturally they meet the Industrial standard of certification as they toughened steel rods under each rung as well as two coats of preservative so the ladder can withstand the harshest of environments.

If you have a wooden ladder from days gone by still in your possession, it may be time to retire it to decorative use only 🙂

Make sure your ladder is long enough for the job

Here at BPS Access Solutions, we find ourselves repeating this essential safety advice quite often. This is quite possibly one area where we see on countless occasions risks being taken on ladders which are not quite long enough for the job.

In the photo it can be clearly seen that the ladder has received a ‘makeshift’ addition of another ladder which turns in into a form of extension ladder if you like. It goes without saying that this practice is extremely dangerous and should never be repeated with any of your own ladders! The bottom ladder addition appears to be of a lesser quality of wood and is likely to snap under the weight when the ladder is in use. This could cause a fatal or serious injury.

Again in the UK, this practice is thankfully rare. However we receive many photos from our loyal fans of crazy people using ladders in the most dangerous of ways! From using a multi purpose ladder pitched from a porch roof in order to reach the roof to people seen over leaning excessively from ladders when carrying out work on their home such as window cleaning and gutter clearance.

It is not unusual to spot people stacking pallets and boxes too to reach a higher point with a ladder that is simply too short for the job. DIY enthusiasts are often the culprits when it comes to using ladders in a dangerous way. Quite possibly this is because they are less familiar in their use and won’t in general have received training on how to use a ladder safely.

Will the house painting get finished?

It appears that the boarding of the chalet in the photo is being painted….Who fancies a bet that that ladder will be extended a second time in order to reach the pitch in the roof!?

Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

To saw or not to saw that is the question….

sawing on a ladder
What would Health and Safety make of this photo we found on the good old social media today?!

There are many things wrong with this photo, one could almost mistake it for a circus act. If you were to come across this in a forest clearing we would suggest running for your life – quite literally!

Don’t try this at home

We liken this photo to a comedy of errors, however there is a multitude of dangerous problems that could result in this fellow loosing his life or at best being seriously injured.

Let’s take a look more closely.

  • The ladder is not secured properly
  • Clearly using a ladder in the first place is a no no as once the tree is sawn off, it will take the ladder with it. When securing your ladder ensure that the work you are carrying out won’t affect the stability of your ladder.

    (Let’s hope that his ladder is at least EN131 certified!.)

    Ladders should be secured against a suitable surface where there is little risk of slipping – clearly a tree trunk is not a good idea! Ladders should also be placed on a secure surface. Uneven ground is never a good idea as this could slide from underneath the ladder.

  • Using the ladder incorrectly
  • When using a ladder you should position yourself facing the rungs – never use a ladder facing away from the rungs like this photos shows. This could cause the ladder to become unbalanced and additionally you have nothing to hold on to.

    When ascending and descending the ladder, keep each hand on either side of the ladder to maintain your balance. Where possible, keep tools in a tool belt.

  • Lack of personal protective equipment
  • When carrying out jobs such as tree cutting, it is essential that you kit yourself out with personal protective equipment such as a hard hat, goggles, ear protection and gloves – none of that wood dust should be going in your eye!

  • Just where is he cutting that tree stump?!
  • That will be one huge stump once chopped! Most trees are cut leaving the shortest stump possible. It appears that this guy is simply sawing at the easiest angle.

    Let’s hope that the trunk doesn’t come crashing down on this head!!

    Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.

    Do you know the correct way to use a ladder?

    8597825132_b92b705200_oWith light nights and warmer weather upon us, we are urging people to be careful in the use of ladders. Barmy Summer nights brings out ladder users in their droves – and with them the less experienced ladder users.

    Using a ladder might seem simple enough, however a lot can go wrong before you even start using it. Before you even move the ladder from it’s storage place, make sure you are confident in using it. If you are not confident, do not use a ladder.

    Inspect your ladder before using it

    Even the more experienced ladder users often become complacent and miss out this important step. Whether your ladder is in use daily or occasionally always check for damage prior to use. This includes checking for damage to the sides, steps and making sure the locking mechanisms are working as they should.

    If your ladder has been dropped or shows any sign of damage, do not use it.

    How to use a leaning ladder safely

    A leaning ladder is a ladder that has to be leant against a wall in order to use it. Such examples include extension ladders, multi purpose ladders and telescopic ladders.

  • Positioning your ladder safely
  • It is essential to lean your ladder at the right angle before climbing it. HSE recommends ladders should be at a 76 degree angle to prevent tipping or sliding. Never adjust the angle to try to achieve a higher or lower working height. Ladders should be able to comfortably reach the job you are working on without having to adjust the angle.

    The most common reason ladder accidents occur is due to an incorrect angle being used. Our unique ladder angle ensures that you will always use the correct and safe pitch of 76 degrees.

    Never try to obtain extra height by balancing your ladder on items such as pallets, bricks or from a scaffold tower.

  • Climbing the ladder safely
  • Both hands should be used to climb a ladder. Always climb a ladder with the ladder facing you keeping one hand on each side of the rungs. Wear a tool belt rather than carrying tools in your hands as your hands need to firmly grip the sides. You should only let go of the ladder as briefly as possible once you have climbed to the required height in order to carry out your job. Never work on the last three rungs of the ladder.

  • Never over lean
  • Never take risks with ladders. If you find yourself leaning to reach other parts of the job, then you need to climb down the ladder and reposition it nearer. There is a test known as the ‘belt buckle test’. If you find your belt buckle is outside the rung area of the ladder then you are over leaning and risk falling or the ladder slipping. Avoiding stretching upwards also as you could lose your balance.

  • Do not overload your ladder
  • All ladders come with a maximum weight capacity. Check the manufacturers instructions if you are not sure. Most of our ladders here at BPS Access Solutions have a maximum weight of 23.5 stones. Remember this is not just your own weight, but that of your tools also. Equipment and materials being carried can be heavier than what you think.

  • Look out for overhead power lines
  • When carrying your ladder look out for overhead power lines. Remember electricity is a conductor of metal objects. Avoid working 6 horizontal metres to power lines – and never take anyone else’s word that they are ‘dead’ always treat power lines as if they are live. If you are an electrician carrying out electrical work at height, a fibreglass ladder would be a far safer option. Our fibreglass extension ladder is non-conductive up to 30,000 volts and could be a lifesaver should a mistake or accident occur.

  • Keeping your ladder stable
  • There is never any guarantee that a ladder will never slip, however you can protect yourself further by tying your ladder to an upper support. Avoid tying your ladder to plastic objects such as gutters which could come away if the ladder slips.

    Poor stability often accounts for ladder accidents and is often due to uneven ground where the ladder is placed. Using a levelling mat can help alleviate this problem and can make positioning your ladder on uneven or sloping ground far safer. Our levelling mat also provides additional grip and prevents the ladder from sliding or slipping from beneath you.

    Using a step ladder safely

    Many people think that a step ladder is safer than a leaning ladder, however they can present the same dangers particularly if they are set up incorrectly.

  • Check your step ladder is in contact with the ground
  • There is more scope for instability issues with step ladders, so be sure to check that all four feet are in contact with the ground.

  • Only carry out light work
  • Avoid using heavy tools and materials when using a step ladder. They are designed for light work.

  • Do not over reach
  • The over reach rules are the same on a step ladder – don’t over reach or stretch. Avoid using the top 3 steps unless there is a handrail provided.

  • Ensure locking devices are enabled
  • Do not use the step ladder if you are in any doubt about it’s safety.

  • Remember the 3 point contact rule
  • Keep both feet on the step ladder at all times and one hand. If both hands are needed, use the stepladder to support your body. Always work with the job facing you, never work from the side or leaning over.

    Follow our safety tips….

    and you will avoid a ladder accident this Summer. Always follow these safety tips regardless of when you use your ladder and you will avoid some of the most common ladder accidents.

    Ladders and Scaffold Towers are a Leading UK Distributor of Ladders, Loft Ladders, Scaffold Towers, Aluminium Ladders, Extension Ladders , Ladder Accessories and all access equipment.