Many tradespeople will be familiar with podium steps as they’ve been growing in popularity
in recent years. However, there will probably still be some tradespeople, and certainly a
large number of non-tradespeople, who have never come across or even heard of podium
steps before. Podium steps are another form of height access equipment, similar to step
ladders, but they have a number of their own features which set them apart.
If you haven’t heard of podium steps, it may be useful to learn a bit more about them, as
they could be just the height access solution you need. Below, we’ll run through the main
features of podium steps and explain why many professional users now view them as their
go-to height access solution on the work site.
How did podium steps come about?
To provide a bit of background context to podium steps, you first need to understand where
they came from – the step ladder. Podium steps and step ladders have a number of unique
features which set them apart but, ultimately, they were designed to serve the same
purpose. Step ladders came first of course. But they fall short of the new standards set by
podium stes in a number of ways, mainly safety and height. Step ladders are great for small
tasks which don’t require the user to reach particularly high, but they can’t provide a safe
working platform for workers who need two hands free to use tools above much more than
1.5 metres off the ground.
As a result of this need for a safer, more practical alternative to the normal step ladder, the
podium step was developed. Safety should always be the number one concern when
working at height, it doesn’t matter whether it’s in a work or home environment. Although
step ladders are rarely more than a couple of metres off the ground, this is more than
enough to cause serious injury or even death if a user falls while working.
Podium step features
Podium steps are built upon the same structural foundations as step ladders. Both pieces of
equipment have four legs which allow them to stand on their own without the need for a
secondary supporting structure. This is vitally important when it comes to usability in certain
situations, specifically where only a small amount of additional height is required to carry
out a task.
While step ladders have a folding A-shaped frame which allows the user to climb and carry
out tasks, podium steps are notably different. They tend to have a rigid frame with a
platform and set of steps leading up to it. The platform is surrounded by a metal frame
which provides support for the user while they are working. Between the steps and the
platform itself there is also a small gate which opens and closes to provide access to the
While podium steps have a mainly fixed frame, most models do have a set of wheels at one
end which allow them to be transported and moved around a work site as needed. Step
ladders are more mobile in this sense because they can be folded away and carried, but
podium steps are still a lot more mobile than scaffold towers, for example.
When are podium steps used?
Because podium steps share the same basic design principle as step ladders, both pieces of
equipment tend to be used in the same situations. Nevertheless, the podium step is gaining
popularity at the expense of the step ladder due to its superior features. Because both step
ladders and podium steps are designed to be used for low height tasks, neither one is better
in this sense. However, the podium step stands out when it comes to stability due to its
wider base and more rigid frame. Many podium steps also come with extendable support
legs which allow you to increase the base even further, thereby increasing the stability of
the structure when in use.
On top of superior structural stability, podium steps also offer a much better work platform
than step ladders do. Firstly, the podium is generally significantly larger than the rungs
found on a step ladder, meaning users have more space to use when working. Secondly, the
podium is surrounded on all sides by a barrier/rails. Workers can lean against these rails
when working on the podium step, meaning they have two hands free to use tools. This is a
massive advantage over the step ladder, as workers have much more flexibility when
carrying out work on a podium step. All-in-all, these advantages have made podium steps an
increasingly popular choice among tradespeople over recent years, and it looks like they
only going to increase in popularity going forward.
If you would like to know more about podium steps or any of the ladders we stock, please
get in touch with our expert team for more information.
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