On the Browns Ladders blog recently, you’ll have noticed we’ve had a fair few posts on step ladder and ladder use. We decided to really push the topic of keeping safe on ladders because every month more than a thousand people need hospital treatment due to accidents at home involving step ladders.

To complement our recent blog posts on safe use of step ladders and measuring for a step ladder, we decided to compile a simple list of dos and don’ts:

The Dos – from pre-use to post-use

  • DO ensure that you’re fit enough to use a ladder. Certain medical conditions or medications could make ladder use unsafe
  • DO make sure you carry out all the pre-use checks and visual inspections before using a ladder, for example, ensuring the ladder is sat on an even surface. We’ve covered this thoroughly in a previous blog post on using a step ladder safely
  • DO make sure you’re aware of any electrical risks in the work area – such as overhead lines or other exposed electrical equipment. If you are around electricity, make sure you’re using a non-conductive step ladder – for example, one made from fibreglass
  • DO be mindful about the situation around you. Make sure the ladder isn’t positioned in the way of pedestrians, vehicles, doors or other risks
  • DO secure all locking devices, they’re there for a reason and must be fully secured before working on the step ladder
  • DO keep a secure grip on the ladder when ascending and descending. Also remember to maintain a handhold whilst working from a ladder, and take additional safety precautions if you are unable to do this
  • DO ensure you look after your ladder and your safety by arranging for regular periodic inspections to be carried out

The Don’ts – from pre-use right through your work

  • DO NOT use a damaged step ladder. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5 minute task or a one hour task, using a damaged ladder always increases your chance of an accident
  • DO NOT place the step ladder on slippery surfaces – such as ice or shiny surfaces – unless additional effective measures are taken to prevent it from slipping
  • DO NOT use a step ladder in adverse weather conditions such as strong wind and rain
  • Do NOT exceed the maximum total load for the type of step ladder. The total load is clearly labelled in all product descriptions
  • DO NOT stand on the top two steps of a standing ladder without a platform and handrail, and do not stand on the top four steps of a standing ladder with an extending ladder at the top
  • DO NOT use a step ladder for a long period of time. They should only be used for light work of a short duration. If you do need to use a ladder for a long time, make sure you take regular breaks – tiredness is a real risk

We hope you’ve enjoyed our series of blogs on step ladder safety. If you have any further questions you’d like answered on the topic do let us know. You can also contact us with questions about any of the step ladders for sale on our website.

What other product safety topics would you like us to cover in the Browns blog? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders