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Why fibreglass ladders are essential for electrical and outdoor work

John H May 26, 2017 0
Fibreglass ladders are a must have for electrical work, as they do not conduct electricity.  This means that any accidental contact of a live or charged wire with the ladder will not result in electrocution for the person using the ladder.  Only the stiles are made from fibreglass, with the rungs being made from aluminium, but this construction means there is no circuit through the ladder that a charge can travel along.Fibreglass ladders are not usually available in domestic ratings, as they are intended for tradespeople and therefore, are more expensive than a lower-rated ladder of the same type.  Although unqualified people should never attempt to fix electrical problems there is a case for homeowners using a fibreglass ladder when working at height outdoors around electrical lines, a...
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Looking for a new loft ladder

John H May 17, 2017 0
Christmas seems like a distant memory now, but for many people it is the only time of year they access their lofts so frequently in a short space of time.  Extra chairs for guests, camp beds and decorations are all things that people store away for infrequent or seasonal use, and these things all come out, and have to be put back at Christmas.Due to this infrequent use of the space, many people do not think about their loft ladder very often, but will definitely have noticed that metal loft ladders are extremely cold when pulled down in the winter; the cold temperature in the roof space transfers into the aluminium of the ladder and it can take a long time to warm up.  Anyone with medical conditions that are exacerbated by cold or simply don't like touching very cold things can understan...
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Ladder of opportunity for apprentices

John H May 12, 2017 0
National Apprenticeships Week took place in March, and the theme this year was “Ladder of Opportunity”.  The ladder metaphor is used very often to describe progression – housing ladder, career ladder, league ladder for team sports – all these are paths to the top in different areas.  Using this metaphor for the progression opportunities afforded by apprenticeships is no surprise, as it evokes a feeling of there being a clear career path ahead when someone starts an apprenticeship.  For some potential apprentices though, there is more than a metaphor at work in the decision to learn a trade or a skill.Trade apprenticeships typically involve training in the use of ladders in the workplace.  Builders, roofers, decorators, electricians, plasterers and other construction and infrast...
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How have ladders become safer?

John H May 09, 2017 0
Around 200 years ago a ladder would have most likely been a homemade affair, constructed reasonably well with skills passed down through generations of carpenters and skilled workers.  It was possible to purchase a ladder made by a carpenter, but for many people making their own was the only financially viable way of obtaining one.  There were no safety standards as we know them today, and certainly none of the rigorous testing that modern ladders have to undergo before they are sold.  The first step ladder was invented in 1862 by John H Basely, before then only straight ladders were available.  The extra stability afforded by the ‘A’ frame construction of the step ladder instantly improved ladder safety and may be one of the most far-reaching innovations in ladder safety ever made...
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When ladders go wrong...

John H May 04, 2017 0
Firefighters in Passaic, New Jersey, found out the hard way that ladders don't always work the way they should.  The crew had been called to a fire in a paper recycling plant, on 12th January, which had gotten very quickly out of hand.  Investigators determined that the plant staff had attempted to extinguish the blaze before calling the fire department, and the twenty foot high pile of bundled paper was certainly not helping to get the situation under control.  The fire department battled for two and a half hours before the fire was deemed to be under control, but it was still burning.  During the course of this action the top section of the vehicle-mounted extending ladder, that has a bucket at the top for crew to stand in, buckled and left the bucket sitting on top of the roof.  It...
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More animals on ladders

John H May 01, 2017 0
Regular blog readers will know that we love the occasional tale of an animal climbing a ladder.  This fascination comes from the astounding sight of a quadruped performing an act that is normally reserved for those on two legs like us.  Our first story is not just fascinating, but very cute as well.  Jack the wombat lives at ACT Wildlife in Australia, but at 10 kilos he is quite a weight to pick up when he wants a cuddle, or when he needs handling for feeding and medical checks.  To reduce the strain on the keepers' backs they gave Jack a little step ladder, which he climbs up when he needs, or wants, to be handled.  Climbing the two-step ladder has helped with his social life as well, as he is now easier to show to visitors and he is loving the more frequent cuddles.Urban otters in S...
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What is the best ladder for spring cleaning? Part 2

John H April 24, 2017 0
Having multiple ladder functions within one ladder is ideal for homeowners undertaking spring cleaning or general domestic tasks.  Combination ladders, as the name suggests, combine a step ladder, stairway ladder, extending step ladder and extension ladder into a single piece of equipment.   Available in various heights these ladders will fulfil most of the functions a homeowner may require, but they do not provide a hop-up or trestle platform for painting or wallpapering.  If these tasks are not on the list of domestic jobs, then a combination ladder is a great option as a piece of access equipment that does not take up too much space when stored but which will offer a variety of access methods for any job around the home.  The extending step ladder function is ideal for external job...
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Need a ladder to reach your top bookshelves?

John H April 21, 2017 0
Avid readers and book collectors will be familiar with the challenges of accessing books on the top shelf, perhaps leaving these ones empty or using them for books that are rarely needed.  Not using these shelves can make it hard to keep a proper library system working, and it is a real waste of space, so some people invest in a step ladder or a kik-stool (which are used in public libraries) to reach these high shelves.  A step ladder is a good idea, as it can be used for many other jobs around the home and it can be stored out of the way at the side of a bookshelf when not in use.Great as a step ladder is, it won't stop the daydreaming about a fully bespoke library room with built in shelves and a ladder on railings that can be pulled around the room and climbed to access even the highe...
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Ladder accidents in the workplace

John H April 18, 2017 0
Ladder accidents happen every day, some are serious but sometimes people are lucky,getting away with just a bit of bruising.  When these accidents happen at home it is often the result of poor ladder choice, inexperience or laziness – leading to over-reaching or carrying too much weight up the ladder.  When these accidents happen in the workplace, especially in a job where ladders are used routinely, it is a matter for the Health and Safety Executive to investigate.  The HSE ensures safety in the workplace and if they know there has been a serious accident they will look into it, often prosecuting and fining employers for negligence when it can be proved that they did not take the right steps to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace.In the case of Eugene Campbell, in N...
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Ladder exchange a success all round, except for one man...

John H April 14, 2017 0
After nearly a decade of annual ladder exchange events The Ladder Association had yet another successful campaign, a three-month event which saw all types of ladder being returned and exchanged for brand new, much safer models.   Chairman Martin Brooke was delighted with the response throughout the last months of 2016, citing the scheme as “a great example of how everyone can work together – regulator, trade body, its member organisations, industry and the public at large – to help keep people safe.”  The public at large is responsible for most of the entries into the Ladder Losers competition (formerly Idiots on Ladders) and this year one of the very early submissions turned out to be the winner, as we predicted on this very blog.  Yes indeed, the man trimming a tree using two...
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