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How have ladders become safer?

May 09, 2017 1
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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Ladders and Cages

October 30, 2016 0
Ladders are more visible in our lives than we might notice. Of course, having read that sentence you may find yourself seeing them more clearly in your day to day life – even in places you could have sworn you had never seen them before. They are the simple solution to getting a little higher and they take up hardly any space due to their totally vertical nature. However, there are some ladders that require a little more space and some extra security. These ladders are known as caged ladders, and they are surrounded by metal bars or mesh to protect the climber from falling off – especially if it’s quite high up. Here is when a ladder needs to be caged, as well as those that are exempt.Why Cage a Ladder?As briefly mentioned before, ladder cages are there to protect you from falling. A...
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Ladder Idiots - Do Not Try This At Home!

March 15, 2016 0
In one of our recent posts we talked about the idiot on a ladder competition. If entries were accepted from outside of the UK, this latest video would be sure to take home first prize.The video which was recently published online shows that some tradespeople will go to literally any length in order to get the job done. In a nutshell, the video shows a workman fixing an air con unit whilst balancing on two rather long ladders that have been stacked on top of each other.And, as if that is not scary enough, the man can be seen swaying in the wind. The video is thought to have been taken in India and starts by simply showing a workman standing on top of a ladder fixing an air con unit positioned at the side of a building. The video then drops down and shows the scary make shift ladder and reve...
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Ladders: How and Why You Should be Checking Them

February 26, 2016 0
Many people have accidents on ladders, but there is no reason why an accident should happen. Like any other possible accident out there, the majority of accidents that happen on ladders can be prevented.For example, how many of you have inspected your ladder recently? If you have answered no, then you are not alone. Not many people would think about doing this, so we have put together a helpful guide to let you know; why you should inspect a ladder, when you should inspect a ladder and what you should check for.Firstly let’s start with why we inspect ladders. The reasons we inspect ladders is to ultimately prevent accidents. As mentioned, accidents should not happen so we want to do everything in our power to reduce the amount of ladder related accidents or incidents.When should they be ...
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Christmas Lights and Ladders

December 11, 2015 0
Every year Christmas light displays seem to get bigger and brighter, with neighbours trying to out-do each other, sometimes raising money for charity in the process.  It's become such a big part of the season that there are even programmes on television documenting the lengths people will go to for a unique light display on their home.  Once you've wrapped some presents and treated yourself to a mince pie or two these shows make for some enjoyable watching.  However, one was not for the faint of heart when it comes to ladder safety and working at height; it was a Christmas miracle that no-one was hurt during filming! At points in the programme they showed homeowners balancing precariously on their rooftops, climbing onto the roof from ladders that only just reached the roofline and other d...
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Christmas Ladder Safety

November 26, 2015 0
The festive season is upon us once again, and for some people it will harbour a painful memory of an incident involving a ladder, icy weather, or undercooked turkey.  We can't give you any advice on how to avoid salmonella, or how to keep the peace on Christmas Day, but we can tell you a thing or two about avoiding a nasty fall. The first ladder you need to look out for is the loft ladder.  If you have a purpose-built loft ladder that is properly installed, then all you need to do is check it over for wear and tear, or any damage before you use it.  It might not have been used since the decorations went away in January, so it's especially important to check the condition of wooden ladders, as pests and damp weather can ruin the state of a wooden ladder. If you are accessing the loft via an...
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Safety Checks For Ladder Use

August 14, 2015 1
Although fortunately rare, accidents involving ladders can be fatal. They can be caused by the user not focusing on what they’re doing or paying attention to how the ladder should be used.Before you pull your ladder out to use it, run through these safety tips to keep yourself safe.Is the Ladder Safe?Get the right ladder for the job. If your ladder doesn’t stretch to where you want to reach, it can be dangerous. Some people overstretch and put themselves in danger. Another situation that can be dangerous is when the ladder is too long. Accidents can be caused by people using the wrong ladder to get into the loft, it’s important to get one fitted.Inspect your ladder regularly. Ladders that are stored outside can absorb water from rainfall. This can lead to loosened rungs which can mak...
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Ladders on the road – again!

September 06, 2014 0
Ladders that are improperly secured to vehicles pose a huge danger on the roads and we have regularly featured stories of big accidents and massive tailbacks caused by ladders on the carriageway.  Two men were injured in separate incidents on the same day in May after their vehicles caught fire having collided with ladders in the road.On the 15th May a car on the M23 near Crawley, Sussex, caught fire after making contact with a ladder in the road that had fallen from another vehicle.  The male driver was lucky enough to escape with only minor burns following the afternoon incident on the northbound carriageway.  The section between junctions 11 and 10a were hit by delays for two hours, as the Highways Agency worked to clear the debris and fuel that had spilled onto the road.  The road ...
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How a Single Rope Saved a Life

August 22, 2014 0
A water tower maintenance worker from Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, was surely glad of a safety harness and rope when he was the target of a technical rescue on 11/11. He was left hanging 110 feet above the ground after the ladder he was using slipped out from under him. Luckily, the safety harness and rope meant he did not fall and get badly or fatally injured.The technical rescue team from the Virginia Beach Fire Department attended the scene, having practiced tower rescues just two days prior to using the skills in a real life situation. A ladder truck bucket was placed beneath the man for safety, in case the harness or safety line was to fail during the rescue. A member of the rescue team climbed up the water tower and abseiled down the outside, reaching the trapped worker after he ha...
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The Importance of Being Earnest in Equipment Choice

July 09, 2014 0
Using the right tools and equipment for the job should be, in part, common sense.  You wouldn’t use a 30-foot extension ladder to change a lightbulb (well – you shouldn’t!) and you wouldn’t use a three-tread step ladder to clean the guttering.  For one employer in Leicestershire, the wrong choice of equipment led to the injury of a worker and a £4,000 fine, plus costs.A builder had been subcontracted to repair wooden window frames on a property that the employer, Peter Steans, was working on.  He was using a ladder, extended to just under the window frame on which he was working, to repair the window beading.  Once he had climbed the ladder, he dropped a piece of the bead and started descending the ladder to pick it up.  As he climbed down the ladder he fell to the paved area...
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