If you are carrying out any kind of work at height, either for work or DIY at home, you need to ensure that you are using the safest access equipment. Many people do not think beyond a ladder while others swear by the safety credentials offered by scaffold towers. Here we take a look at whether one is safer than the other and which you should be using.

When is a scaffold tower safer?

It is often the case that you might think setting up a scaffold tower is too much of a hassle and that it would be better simply to use a ladder. There’s no doubt that in many cases it is quicker, but it doesn’t mean that it is always safer. In fact, often it is much safer to use a scaffold tower for tasks – it all depends what is expected of you when you are working at height.

Typically, a scaffold tower is much safer to use if you are going to be carrying out work where you require two hands free. For example any work at height that needs tools will be safer when you work from a scaffold tower, as these will give you a base to stand on rather than having to have one hand on the ladder to keep yourself stable.

Tasks such as large scale painting of a property may also be safer if you work from a platform like a scaffold tower. This is because you won’t need to spend too long standing on a ladder which can become uncomfortable, and additionally you won’t have to constantly climb up and down the ladder.

When is a ladder safer?

If you only need high access for a short period of time, for example, to carry out a quick DIY task then it is often completely safe to use a ladder. Remember that many ladders are specifically designed to make it safe for you to carry out a job. A good example of this is a roof ladder, which extends across a roof, allowing you safely work on the surface. This is safer that using a scaffold tower to get access to the room and then trying to stretch out to carry out the tasks. 

Ultimately then, a ladder is safer when it is the right choice for the task at hand. This is often the case and you shouldn’t necessarily assume that just because a scaffold tower has better safety features that it is always the right tool to use.