Ladders are often the most practical and sensible way to carry out home DIY or tasks at work. But if you are on a ladder, you are working at height, and this means that you are at risk of falling. That means that safety has to be your priority. Unfortunately many people will attempt to use a ladder even if it is wobbly or otherwise unsecure. Wobbling ladders can be very hazardous as they could be on the verge of slipping or you could potentially fall and hurt yourself. Here are five ways you can work at height safely if you find yourself with a wobbly ladder.

Ladders are often the most practical and sensible way to carry out home DIY or tasks at work. But if you are on a ladder, you are working at height, and this means that you are at risk of falling. That means that safety has to be your priority. Unfortunately many people will attempt to use a ladder even if it is wobbly or otherwise unsecure. Wobbling ladders can be very hazardous as they could be on the verge of slipping or you could potentially fall and hurt yourself. Here are five ways you can work at height safely if you find yourself with a wobbly ladder.

Assess if it is safe to use a ladder

The first thing you need to understand is whether it is safely to use a ladder for the task in the first place. Consider the work you are going to be carrying out – are you putting yourself at risk by using a ladder when other equipment would be safer and more appropriate? In the case of carrying out complex work at height for a considerable period of time, it could be best to use equipment such as a scaffold tower rather than a ladder. If you are at work, ask a qualified person to make an assessment as to whether a ladder is appropriate for the task.

Ensure the ladder is at the correct angle

One major reason that a ladder can be unstable is that it has not been set up correctly. Often this is because it is at the wrong angle. A quick method to check whether the ladder is at the correct angle or not is to set your ladder, then stand with your toes against the foot of the ladder. From this position with your arms fully extended you should be able to just comfortably reach the rungs of the ladder.

Make sure the floor is level

You should always set up a ladder on a firm, level surface. Don’t simply set the ladder in the first place you come to or attempt to force the ladder into the ground to secure it – this will just give you a false sense of security. Instead, test out a few places to set up the ladder. You could also look into devices such as ladder stabilisers or alternative equipment if you cannot find a suitable place where the ladder is stable.

Stability at the top of the ladder

You may assume that a wobbly ladder is entirely to do with the base, but there can also be issues at the top. There are devices that can be attached to the top of a ladder to allow it brace against the wall or place you a little further away from the wall to carry out different tasks such as cleaning gutters.

Use a different kind of ladder

It may the case that you are attempting to use the wrong kind of ladder for the job. For example, you may have been given an extension ladder that only has one point of contact with the floor, whereas a combination three way ladder may provide you with stable access to the task you are trying to carry out.