As with all pieces of equipment or machinery, different users and tasks require different
features to get the job done. Ladders and height access equipment are certainly no
exception to this rule, and the features you’ll find on one type of ladder can vary
significantly to those you might find on others. They are used daily by all sorts of
professional users, from roofers to electricians, but they’re also an important piece of
equipment for home users carrying out odd jobs or DIY around the house.
While ladders are used by professional and home users alike, the main features each of
these groups require can vary significantly. The differences may not be immediately obvious
unless you have experience using ladders as both a professional and a home user. However,
knowing these differences can provide a lot of insight into the types of ladder you should be
looking for when considering any given task.
Below we’ll explain how the requirements of professional and non-professional ladder users
vary, and how these differences can affect which type of ladder you should be looking to
Professional ladder users
Ladders are one of the most important pieces of equipment commonly used by many
different professional tradesmen. Working at height is a common part of the day-to-day
jobs of roofers, painters and all sorts of construction workers. But, even though all of these
different types of tradesmen are professional users, the features required by each can vary
Many professional ladder users use two-legged ladders much more than four-legged ladders
because they tend to work at higher heights. There are some highly-specialised two-legged
ladders, such as roof ladders, which are only really used in one particular application. Roof
ladders don’t really serve much purpose in other situations. The same applies to some of
the more specialised four-legged ladder types, like tripod ladders, which are generally not
used outside of a small group of professional users.
So, you can’t class all professional ladder users together as one because they each have very
different requirements. But, in that case, what do all of these different tradesmen look for
in their ladders? Because there are so many different types of ladder out there, there’s no
particular ladder feature all professional ladder users look for.
However, there is one thing which matters to all professional users, regardless of the field in
which they work. That attribute is build quality. It doesn’t matter what type of ladder, or
even what the ladder will be used for, a ladder needs to be constructed properly using high
quality materials in order to be fit for use. This applies to standard two-legged ladders, step
ladders, podium steps, ladders constructed from wood, ladders constructed from metal. In
fact, it applies to all height access equipment.
The reason construction quality is so important for ladder users is safety. In the UK, falls
from height have been one of the leading causes of death and serious injury at work for
many years. This remains the case to this day. As a result, the materials and manufacturing
methods used to construct ladders play a very important role in their suitability for use in all
sorts of real-world environments
Non-professional ladder users
Much like professional ladder users, it’s hard to group together the requirements of all non-
professional ladder users. Each individual will need and prioritise slightly different features
as they will be carrying out different tasks, both indoors and outdoors. However, there is
generally a lot less variation among non-professional ladder users in terms of the features
they will be looking for.
The majority of non-professional ladder users will never need any of the more specialised
ladder types. Instead they will usually opt for the standard extension ladder or step ladder.
These two ladder types are able to cover most of the day-to-day height access requirements
of non-professional users. They will even be able to cover most of the day-to-day access
requirements of many professional users.
As a result, just like professional ladder users, the main requirement of non-professional
ladder users is build quality. In fact, it may even be more important for non-professional
users because they are more likely to be unfamiliar with setting up and using ladders safely.
High quality materials, such as aluminium or wood, are more likely to protect users against
unexpected equipment failures. In this sense, professional and non-professional ladder
users should be looking out for largely the same thing when they go ladder shopping.
Here at BPS Access Solutions, we pride ourselves on stocking high quality ladders which
have been fully tried, tested and safety certified. If you would like to know more about the
range of ladders and other height access equipment we have in stock, get in touch with our
expert team today.
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