We’re entering that crazy time of year when everything just goes mad. There are so many things to think about, from the decorations to presents as well as the food and ensuring the relatives are all going to get along. Unfortunately with this madness also comes the inevitable accidents that occur every year in homes across the UK. Tasks such as cooking and electrical safety that under normal circumstances are carried out with care can suddenly become overlooked. In fact, you are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas time than at any other time during the year.
Indeed it is. However our post as always, has to have a ladder twist in it. So in honour of the Ladder Associations ‘first ever’ Christmas Campaign, we thought we would help spread the Christmas message about safe ladder usage over the festive season.
You may already have your decorations up, but there is often a request to add more lighting as the festivities draw near and that holly starts to look a bit jaded……
So if your festive fall will be nothing more than a little too much alcohol, then it our duty here at BPS Access Solutions to ensure you use your ladder safely this festive season – the first requirement being, to be sober before you start!
Five “Must Do” steps to ensure safe ladder usage:
1. Decide on the right ladder
There are many ladders available – loft ladders, step ladders, multi purpose ladders, extension….the list goes on. Most importantly the ladder must be suited for its intended use. Ensure you won’t be over reaching and always use in accordance to the manufacturers instructions. As an example, don’t be tempted to lean an extension ladder in a living room, it would be at a dangerous angle, similarly don’t stand on the very top of a step ladder – you’re likely to fall…..unless you are an acrobat….you get our drift we’re sure!
2. Is the ladder actually safe to use?
Christmas time is traditionally the season for risk. If you relying on an old ladder from years ago that only gets use once in a blue moon then you are compromising on safety. Modern ladders are more than just rungs. They have anti-slip features, stabiliser bars and a whole host of other features that make life easier.
Stop! Before you use any ladder (even the old relic) ensure you inspect the rungs. Are they firm? Are the treads in good condition and clean? We don’t need to tell you about the dangers of slips from debris and poor tread…..and did we mention wearing sensible footwear too? Well we have now!
3. Position is everything
Like many things, you will get a better performance if you think about the position! Avoid one of the most common accidents occurring with ladders – slips. Remember many slips can be prevented by ensuring the ladder is placed on dry firm ground free from debris and placed at a safe angle to the wall on which you are working.
There are further measures you can take to prevent ladders slipping whilst in use and we stock a range of ladder accessories designed for this purpose including the essential ladder stand off/stay designed to make working practices safer and our levelling mat which ensures your ladder is level as well as ladder grippers and multi purpose ladder handrails.
4. Use a step ladder for indoor decorating
Unless you live in a castle, a stepladder will be sufficient for your indoor decorating requirements. However the height needed will of course depend on your ceiling height and your own height. We stock a wide range of platform step ladders to suit practically everyone’s requirements. All our step ladders come with a knee level safety rail and a large non-slip platform amongst many other unique features. Does that sound like a better proposition than a rickety wooden stepladder?
Our step ladders are available from a 2 step platform step ladder up to an 8 step platform step ladder (and everything in-between – so take your pick!) So whether you just need a helping hand to reach the top of the Christmas tree or need access to a high ceiling then we have a step ladder for you.
5. Take care when using any ladder
Never risk over reaching or over stretching when using your ladder. It is far easier to come down the ladder and reposition than risk falling or the ladder slipping due to over reaching. If your ladder is not long enough for the job, do not take risks.
Falls from height are the most common workplace accident and it is no different at home. So always use your ladder sensibly and in accordance to the manufacturers instructions and recommendations.
Now you have armed yourself with the facts of safe ladder usage, be sure to pass on this message to others!
We hope you have a fantastic – and safe – Christmas!
Oh and do feel free to send us your pictures of your festive decorating – we’ll feature them on our Facebook page!
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.