An apt seasonal piece today, pesky storms! No one wants to be up a ladder in the rain, but those who rely on ladders for their work don’t have the luxury of waiting for better weather. Slippery ground and wet ladders all Waves crash up against the water barriers by the coast.increase the risk of slipping and falling, but there are some precautions that can be taken in bad weather. Firstly, a pair of gloves with good grip (gardening gloves are ideal as they often have rubberised palms) will stop your hands slipping as you climb and also help keep them warm so they can grip properly on the way down. A hat to keep the rain out of your eyes is also a good idea, as well as waterproof clothing if needed. Proper protective clothing is essential when working outside in wet weather. Waterproof overtrousers and jackets will fit over your existing work gear and keep you dry (always tuck gloves inside sleeves to prevent drips into your gloves) and often protect against wind chill as well. Thermal undergarments keep your body warmth in and protect against the effects of cold. Fingerless gloves are a good idea worn underneath heavier gloves, as they will keep your palms warm even if you need to take your gloves off to work. It is also especially important to take regular breaks from working at height in bad weather, as tiredness, cold and stiffness will set in a lot earlier than in good weather. Your own safety is compromised if you are not able to climb or descend a ladder due to cold extremities and stiff joints and it is a good excuse to take regular tea breaks (hydration is still important in cold weather!).

Ladder Stops

You can make the base of the ladder safer by using a ladder stop. Ladder stops are designed to prevent the base of the ladder slipping away, so are very useful on wet or slippery ground. The simplest design is an inverted ‘T’ shape, like the one employed by “The Stopper”, which is made from aluminium coated in rubber. The rubber adds grip on slippery surfaces and the vertical part of the ‘T’ keeps the feet of the ladder in place. This model is suitable for ladders up to 41cm wide at the base. Costing a little more is an all-rubber design called the Maxistoppa which works along the same principle. This version will fit ladders up to 60cm wide and provides a massive 1.5 square foot of ground contact. Again, the tread moulded into this rubber device provides excellent grip on almost any surface. An aluminium ladder on a Ladder stop resting on gravel.The LadderM8rix ladder base anchor is the ultimate in ladder stops though. Just a fraction more expensive than the rest, at £67.50, the security afforded by this piece of equipment is priceless. The unit has a plate on the underside with over 2,000 metal pins that dig into the surface beneath it and provide grip for the ladder above it. The pins help grip on ice or snow, grass, (wet) wood and gravel, tarmac or carpet. The top of the unit has a rubber surface that the ladder grips against, but this can be replaced with the metal pins and the rubber surface be used for grip instead, on surfaces such as decking and smooth tarmac or concrete. This will fit any ladder up to 55 cm wide and also eliminates the need for someone to hold the ladder. As the weather looks to be wet for the foreseeable, consider investing in one of these safety devices and avoid unnecessary accidents.