Using a ladder is something that many of us have to do, whether that’s in a professional capacity or just carrying out DIY tasks at home. But there are some myths and misconceptions about using ladders that we can clear up:

Myth: Any ladder will do

This isn’t correct. There are many different types of ladder and you need to choose the right one for the job. Failing to use the correct ladder can result in you or anyone working with the ladder getting seriously injured. Always make sure that the ladder you have chosen is sensible for the work that you are going to attempt.

Myth: You need to be qualified to use a ladder

Some people believe that you need to have formal qualifications before you can use a ladder in a professional capacity, or that the government will soon bring in legislation that will make this law. However, this is a myth. Rather than being qualified to use a ladder, you instead need to be competent. Anyone can use a ladder as long as they have the skills, experience and knowledge to do it. If you have no experience of using a ladder you can be trained on the job by someone who is competent to do so.

Myth: You need both feet and one hand on a ladder

This is not quite correct but there is a rule that might seem to imply this is the case. The rule is that you must always have three points of contact with the ladder while you are using it. This might suggest that two feet and one hand is your only option, but this would make it impossible to carry out any work that requires both hands. So in this situation you would need to use either your chest or knee as a third point of contact with the ladder while you work.

Myth: Ladders are banned on building sites

Another misconception is that ladders are completed banned on building sites but this simply isn’t the case. Ladders and stepladders can both be used if they are the practical option for the work. It is generally considered that for most work at height, scaffolding, scaffold towers or platforms are the preferable option, but if the work is only of a short duration and the risk of using a ladder is not high, then it is appropriate to use one.

Myth: Ladders can be set up anywhere

While the safety features on ladders are better than they have ever been, you still need to apply basic safety rules every time that you want to use one. Ladders need to be set up on firm and stable ground. Failing to do so can put them at risk of wobbling or even falling.