Self-supporting ladders may seem the safest and easiest type of ladder to use, but misuse them and you’ll be at risk of a serious injury or fall. Every month, thousands of people need hospital treatment due to accidents at home using self-supporting ladders – which is just one of the reasons we’re sharing our top advice in today’s blog.

Self-supporting ladders are those ladders that are self-supporting and non-adjustable. Common examples in the trade industry include step ladders, platform ladders, garden ladders and two-way step ladders. An industrial model, designed for heavy service demands, has oversized back legs, heavy-duty flat steps, and knee braces that increase rigidity and durability. They’re typically used where no wall support is available, or where structural abstractions prevent the use of the standard single ladder.

Top five misuses of self-supporting ladders

browns ladders misuses of-self supporting ladders falls

  1. Using a self-supporting ladder in a partially closed position

Solution: Fully open the ladder before working on it and make sure the metal spreader or locking device is secured.

  1. Overloading the ladder

Solution: Carefully read the manufacturers guidance to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum load.

  1. Working above the maximum height

Solution: Do not stand and work from the top two steps of a self-supporting ladder without a platform and handrail. Also remember that paint trays are not steps and should only be used for holding paint cans and trays.

  1. Setting up a ladder on a poor surface

Solution: Do not place a self-support ladder on slippery surfaces or uneven surfaces unless additional measures are taken to increase its stability.

  1. Using self-supporting ladders for a long period of time

Solution: While they may look sturdy and stable, it doesn’t mean you can use a self-supporting ladder for a long period of time. If you do have a big job to complete make sure you take regular breaks.

Shop our selection of self-supporting ladders

At Browns Ladders we have a wide range of top-quality self-supporting ladders available. Built with safety and durability in mind, when used correctly they’ll ensure you’ll stay safe and accident-free on the job.

Here are our top picks:

The stepladder

browns ladders misuses of-self supporting ladders swingback two

Product: Werner Industrial Aluminium Swingback Steps

Price: £56.29 inc VAT

Max load: 175kg

Size options: Open height of 0.87m (reach height of 1.95m) to 2.86m (reach height of 3.94m)

Features: This stepladder is available in seven different sizes and made from aluminium. Edge protection caps on the top tread ensure added safety, along with the slip resistance treads and feet.

The garden ladder

browns ladders misuses of-self-supporting ladders henchman

Product: Henchman Platform Tripod Ladder

Price: £185.00 inc VAT

Size options: Overall height of 1.80m (reach height of 2.40) to 3.60m (reach height of 4.20m)

Features: This garden ladder is available in four different sizes and made from lightweight aluminium. It’s built to handle gentle slopes and allows you to tuck your knees in, increasing your stability. A top rail allows one-handed support while working and its narrow top and third leg allow access to tight, awkward spaces.

The platform ladder

browns ladders misuses of self supporting ladders swingback

Product: Zarges Z600 Heavy Duty Platform Stepladder

Price: £208.84 inc VAT

Max load: 250kg

Size options: Closed height of 1.59m to 2.71m

Features: This platform ladder benefits from extra large treads, 60mm deep, and a large work platform, measuring 250mm x 250mm. High-strength perlon straps also prevent splay and are fitted on models with four rungs or more.

To find out more about any of the ladders we’ve mentioned today, or any of our other products, check out the product categories online or call us on 01282 615517.

Have you ever had an accident while working from a self-supporting ladder? If so, tell us your story in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders