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It is easy to think of scaffold towers as purely a tool for commercial and construction sites, so you might be surprised to the learn that they can actually be used around the home to great effect. If you have a DIY project or home renovation that you are planning, you should consider using a scaffold tower as they can save you a lot of time and make things easier.

In this blog we take a look at how scaffold towers can be used around the home, as well as how to avoid some of the mistakes which are commonly made.

Great for larger projects

While you probably wouldn’t set up a scaffold tower to carry out window cleaning, they can be perfect if you are carrying out a large-scale project on your property. One of the major advantages of scaffold towers is that they are safer for use over longer periods for working at height than working on a ladder.

When you are going to get plenty of use out of the tower this can actually be a very cost-effective solution, rather than having to buy multiple ladders for different jobs. It will also save you a significant amount of time.

Set them up safely

If you are going to make use of a scaffold tower for your home project, it is important that you set them up safely and securely. This should always be carried out by someone who is very familiar with scaffold towers and is competent to do the work.

Also remember that you should thoroughly check over your scaffold tower before each use – and that they should never be used in a way that they are not meant to. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.

Second hand towers can save you money

If you are interested in using a scaffold tower but are concerned about the potential costs involved, a great solution can be purchasing a second hand tower. Used towers from reputable dealers are just as good as a new tower but can be bought at much lower prices.

A word of warning, however – make sure that you are choosing a tower that is suitable for your needs, and not just choosing it because it is cheap.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Are you getting ready to carry out some window cleaning at your home? It is important to use the correct type of ladder. In this blog we will take a look at the different types of ladders you can use to clean windows and help you be safe as you work at height.

The different ladders available

There are many types of ladder available and for a task like window cleaning you need to first make sure that your ladder is tall enough. The last thing you want to be doing is having to lean and stretch, potentially putting yourself in a dangerous position to clean the windows. Extension ladders and combination 3-way ladders are both popular choices for window cleaners.

It should be noted that if you have a ladder that almost reaches, but is easily available, you shouldn’t be tempted to use it. You ladder needs to give you an appropriate height in which to carry out the work without having to put yourself in an uncomfortable position.

Always use a ladder when you need one

When planning to clean their windows, some people make a mistake that can be extremely dangerous for them. And that is using an object other than a ladder to attempt to work at height. For example, you might assume that if you are cleaning windows at ground level that you can do this work without the help of ladder. However, depending on the height of your windows they may be too tall for you to carry out the task entirely.

This leads many people to use a makeshift solution such as standing on a box. You might assume that this fine, but a box is not designed to allow you clean. This could mean that you are susceptible to falling. Even if you only need a little extra height to clean the windows safely you should use a stepladder that allows you to do so securely.

Look for alternatives

Remember that it might not always be completely necessary for you to use a ladder to carry out window cleaning. Any kind of work at height is dangerous so you should explore other options before getting up on the ladder. For example, it might be possible to use an extending wiper from ground level to reach high windows.

Additionally, if you have windows that open wide it may be possible to clean your windows from inside your home. Both of these options are safer than working at height, and should be considered if possible.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Three ladder mistakes you need to avoid

24 September 2018 13:59:32 GMT

If you are going to use a ladder, either at work or at home, you need to ensure that you are doing it safely. Here are three common ladder mistakes that even experienced users make – you need to avoid them as they can put you in danger.

1 - Underestimating a step ladder

A step ladder only takes you a few feet off the ground, so that means that you do not need to follow the same strict regulations as you would if you were using an extension ladder – right? The truth is that while you might not be as high off the ground on a step ladder as you are on other types, you are still at risk of injury when you work at right.

Shorter falls can be just as damaging to your body, not least because you haven’t taken any safety precautions to protect against them. So, if you are going to use a step ladder you need to make sure that you are doing so with the utmost safety and care – just as you would with a much taller ladder.

2 - Assuming your ladder is still in good condition

There is no doubt that ladders are strong and sturdy pieces of equipment that can withstand a great deal of use. However, no ladder is indestructible, and it is in fact the case that your ladder can deteriorate over a short period of time as it is likely to get a lot of heavy use, for example if you are carrying out a DIY project.

It is essential, then, to thoroughly check your ladder is still in good condition before each use. Do not assume that a ladder is safe to use.

3 - Setting up your ladder on unstable ground

It is essential that you should always set your ladder up safely and correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. But one of the most common mistakes that people make is they set up their ladder on ground that is simply unsuitable for it. You have to stand your ladder on a solid foundation – if you can’t then this is not a safe area for you to be using that ladder.

Never cut corners with ladders, as doing so can put your life at risk when you are working at height if something goes wrong.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

How to safely check your roof

10 September 2018 08:52:00 GMT

It always important to take the time to check your roof occasionally. If it has been a few years since you have checked out the health of the roof on your property it is a great idea to get it done now before the winter comes. The old saying goes ‘fix the roof while the sun is shining’ all while it is cliché, it is certainly still applicable.

But if you are going to check your roof you need to make sure that you are doing it as safely as possible. Here we take a look at how you can check the health of your roof without putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

Check what you can from inside

The first step in checking your roof is something that everyone can do – inspect it from the inside. If you roof has any serious problems, it is likely that you will be able to see them from the inside. This could include patches of damp, obvious sagging, draughts or in some cases actually being able to see light from the outside. If you notice any of this, you already know that you have a problem with your roof.

Use the proper equipment on the roof itself

To carry out a full inspection of your roof you will need to actually get on top of it to understand the condition of the tiles and to see if any further problems are emerging. You don’t necessarily need to have experience to check over the roof, but it is extremely important that you take care. The most important aspect of doing this is using the right equipment.

You will need an extension ladder or even a roof ladder to be able to get up to the roof safely and carry out the inspection. Do not attempt to use a ladder in a way that it was not designed for.

Take extra care

Remember that if your roof is in poor condition it can be extremely hazardous. Loose tiles can fall or the integrity of the roof may not be what it could be. Take real care when you are checking out the roof and do not attempt to climb on a roof that looks unsafe. Always take more precautions than you think is necessary, and if you are ever in doubt, call in professionals to deal with it for you.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

There are many reasons that you might be interested in purchasing a new ladder. You might have had an old ladder that is now past its best and needs replacing. It may be the case that you need a specific type of ladder to carry out a particular task. Or could it even be that this is the first time that you are buying a ladder?

In any of these scenarios, it can be easy to be confused by the sheer range of ladders that are available. That means you need to do a little research before you buy to ensure that you are getting the right ladder for your needs.

At Precipitous we offer a huge range of ladders from simple extension ladders and extending telescopic ladders to those for a specific purpose, such as a roof ladder. Buyers often come to us with questions about which ladder is right for them. So here is our guide to the three questions you need to ask in order to establish which type of ladder is right for you.

What kind ladder do I need for the task?

The kind of task that you are carrying out will actually dictate the ladder for you, so when you come to come to make your ladder purchase, make sure you ask which type of ladder will be suitable for the job. Many people who don’t have a great deal of experience on ladders will assume that an extension ladder is fine for all tasks, but there are many situations where a different type of ladder may be a better choice.

What sort of material is best?

Ladders are available in various different materials and these can make a difference as to whether the ladder is suitable for you. While wooden ladders were common and popular in the past, modern models typically shun the material in favour of more durable and long-lasting ladders.

Aluminium is a common choice. It is highly affordable, making it ideal for buying specific use ladders. It is also very light, which is perfect for transportation. Another option is fibreglass, which has the advantage of not conducting electricity, making it safer to use around electrical equipment.

How tall does the ladder need to be?

As a rule of thumb consider how high you will need to be to carry out the task and buy a ladder that is taller than that height. Remember that you cannot stand on the top rungs of the ladder so when you are at the maximum height you will usually be able to reach just below the full height of the ladder.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Working at height can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Every year thousands of people are injured in ladder accidents that would have been completely preventable. Here are four common ladder mistakes that could be easily avoided.

1 - Placing your ladder on uneven ground

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when using a ladder comes when you are setting it up. A ladder can be in perfect condition and can be the ideal height for the job, but if it is placed on unsuitable ground it can make it dangerous to use. Ladders should only ever be placed on ground that is firm, solid and flat.

Placing it on uneven ground can very easily put it in a position where it will topple over, making it extremely dangerous to work on. Even if you are only using a ladder at a low height, a fall can cause serious injury, so always make sure that the ladder is set up correctly.

2 - Working on a ladder that’s not fit for purpose

It is sadly all too common for people who need to work at height to reach for the first ladder to hand, whether it is suitable for the task at hand or not. Remember that there are many different types of ladders available in various styles and heights. Just because you have used a ladder for tasks in the past does not mean that it will be suitable for the one you are currently carrying out.

You should only ever use a ladder that has been designed for the purpose you are intending to use it for.

3 - Using your ladder incorrectly

Additionally, it is important that you should never try to use a ladder in a way that it has not been designed for. This goes hand-in-hand with using the correct ladder. It is extremely dangerous to put yourself in a position where you are using a ladder incorrectly – for example by standing on rungs that are too high.

4 - Not carrying out thorough checks

It is vital that you should carry out a thorough inspection of your ladder before each use. Ladders are made of strong materials, but they can deteriorate with time. Some aspects of the ladder can wear down such as the rubber feet and this can make it dangerous to use. Working on a ladder that is in poor condition puts you in danger.

If you are concerned about the condition of your ladder then it is always wise to invest in a new one.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Are second-hand scaffold towers safe?

20 July 2018 08:45:00 GMT

If you need a scaffold tower for a job but you are put off by the cost, there is the option of buying second hand. Of course, when it comes to something like high access equipment it is natural that your first priority is safety – this has led some people to worry that opting for a second-hand scaffold tower might not be as safe as buying one new.

Here we take a look at the safety issues surrounding second-hand towers and what you can do to ensure that you stay safe.

Second-hand is safe – as long as you use the right type of tower

There is no reason to assume that a second-hand scaffold tower that is sold by a quality provider will be unsafe for use. All towers sold by a reputable business will have been checked for quality to ensure they are still in good condition. However, it should be pointed out that if you are buying second hand as a cost saving exercise, it is still essential that you should buy a tower that is fit for purpose. Just because you’re getting a good deal on a second-hand tower, it doesn’t mean it is the right tower for the job.

Make sure that you buy a tower that is the correct height to allow you to carry out the work, and has been designed with the kind of work that you are doing in mind.

Buy from a quality supplier

Make sure that when you come to buy a second hand tower that you only consider purchasing from high quality and reputable suppliers. A good supplier will fully inspect any second hand towers and carry out repairs to ensure that they are fit for use. Buying from anywhere else can leave you in a position where you are not sure about the safety credentials of your tower.

Make sure that you are buying from a company that you can trust and has a good reputation. This is where it can be beneficial to do your research before you buy.

Sometimes a ladder can be just as effective

If you are buying access equipment for a specific job, it is worth considering whether a scaffold tower is the best choice. In general, scaffold towers can offer better safety features than a ladder, but at the same time, this level of safety is not a requirement for all jobs. Work that won’t take long and can be accomplished easily without heavy tools can be carried out on a ladder.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

How to transport a ladder safely

6 July 2018 09:32:00 GMT

Getting a ladder to a job requires transportation, and doing so means that you need to take sensible steps to ensure both that the ladder arrives in good condition and that you avoid potentially knocking or damaging anything. There are two types of ladder transportation we will be looking at in this blog: carrying your ladder by hand, and drive a ladder on your car. Here are some tips on how to transport your ladder safely in both scenarios.

Carrying a ladder

Whether you are moving your ladder from one part of your home to another or walking it down the road to a neighbour’s house to carry out some DIY, the principles of carrying a ladder remain the same. Firstly, you need to be spatially aware at all times – a ladder is a large and heavy object, so if you are carrying it close to other people or objects you need to have a good understanding of what will happen if you move the ladder.

Walk slowly and try to make sure that you have at least two people carrying the ladder so that you can cover both ends. When you pick up the ladder, make sure that you bend your knees and lift with your legs, rather than putting the strain of lifting into your back. Additionally, you should remember that when you come to turn, you should use your feet rather than your waist. Check very carefully before changing direction.

Driving a ladder

If you are going to drive your ladder somewhere else then you will need to fix it to your car. Ladders are expensive, but so is your car, so make sure that it is tied down securely with a strong rope. Some people assume that you need a rack on your car to carry a ladder, and while this would be ideal, it is not essential. If you don’t have a rack then protect the roof with some sort of cushioning such as a thick blanket, or pillows.

And remember that you are responsible for your ladder and your safety on the road, to ensure that you thoroughly check over the ladder to make sure that it is securely tied in place. If you have any doubts about whether the ladder is secure then you should not drive with it on the roof.

There are also legal requirements for how far the ladder overhangs your car. For example, if the ladder overhangs the car by between 2 and 3.05 metres at the front or the back, you will need to have marker boards. If there is an overhang of 3.05 metres or more, you will need to give the police two days’ notice.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Four DIY jobs for the summer

29 June 2018 10:24:30 GMT

Summer is the perfect time to get some DIY tasks done, especially around the outside of your home. Firstly, the additional sunshine and natural light means the flaws on the exterior of your home will become more obvious. Additionally, if you haven’t managed to get out and do any DIY on the exterior of your home during the winter, these things can mount up – so it’s best to get them done before they turn into something serious.

And, of course, it’s easy to get motivated to do a little external work when it’s warm outside. So get outdoors, make the most of the sunshine and get these four DIY jobs done this summer.

1 - Repaint the outside of your home

If the outside of your home is painted, it may have been some time since you last did some work on it. It is only when you stop and take a look for a moment in the bright sunshine how obvious it is in need of updating. So whether you are carrying out a full paint job on the whole of the property or just touching up a few key areas that need some attention, the summer is the perfect time to do it.

Ensure that you are using the right access equipment. Remember that painting can be an arduous and time intensive task. You should carry out most of the work with an extending roller brush from the ground, and only use access equipment like a ladder when you are carrying out the finishing touches.

2 - Clear the gutters

The winter can take a toll on your gutters. And if you leave them in this condition until the autumn, when falling leaves begin to clog things up, you can end up with gutters that simply don’t work. So take the opportunity to get out in the summer and clear your gutters. This can sometimes take some motivation as the gutters rarely have any problems through the summer. But the last thing you want to do is find that in the pouring rain in the autumn that your gutters are clogged and overflowing.

3 - Thoroughly clean the windows

Even if you have your windows cleaned on a regular basis it may be the case that the job is done from the ground level with an extending hose and wiper. While this gets rid of the surface level of dirt and dust, it can also leave your windows watermarked. So take the opportunity in the good weather to clean your windows.

4 - Trim the hedges and trees in your garden

Summer is the time that you want your garden to look beautiful. Spring time has gone, but the fine weather means there will be more time for you to enjoy the flowers and greenery. So now is the time to trim back hedges and clean up the trees and shrubs.

Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

Whether you are using a scaffold tower for some DIY around your home or in the workplace, you need to ensure that you are following the correct safety precautions. Here we look at some important ways that you can stay safe while you work on a scaffold tower.

Carry out a risk assessment

When you are going to carry out any kind of work at height it is vital that you should first carry out a thorough risk assessment. A scaffold tower is one of the safest ways to work at height, but any time you have to work off the ground you are putting yourself at risk, so it is essential to understand whether there are safer ways to carry out the work.

It may be the case that a task can actually be carried out from ground level. Additionally, even if working with the scaffold tower is the safest option, it is important to look at other factors, such as safety precautions for people below the tower.

Those using the tower must be competent

It is also the case that anyone who is going to build, dismantle, inspect or work on the tower must have the skills, experience and knowledge to do so. There may not be a formal qualification in order to do this, but it is vital that those expected to do these tasks have the necessary competence. It should also be noted that tower components should be regularly inspected by someone who is competent to do so. 

Use a tower that is suitable for the job

You should only ever use a tower that is suitable for the task that you want to carry out. This means that if you have a scaffold tower and it is not quite tall enough, you should never attempt to gain additional height in a way that is contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions.

What not to do on a scaffold tower

It is often just as important with a scaffold tower to establish exactly what you should not to do when you work. Here are some key things that you should never do when you are setting up or working on a scaffold tower:

  • Never set up the tower in a way that has not been recommended by the manufacturer
  • Never set up a tower without the appropriate instruction manual
  • Do not use a scaffold tower that does not have a guardrail or appropriate fall protection
  • Do not stand on a platform without protection while erecting or dismantling a tower
  • Never try to set up a tower on top of other objects to gain additional height
Posted in Buyers Guides By Tom B

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