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.