Painting at height is one of those tasks that everyone has to do every so often. You’ll need to use a ladder whether you’re completely redecorating the outside of your home or just giving it a fresh coat of paint, so you have to ensure that you aren’t putting yourself in danger to get the job done. Here are some of our top tips for staying safe when painting on a ladder.

Use the right kind of ladder

Perhaps the most important aspect of staying safe while painting is to choose the right kind of ladder. If the ladder that you attempt to use for the job doesn’t give you enough height or isn’t designed for this sort of work, you can be immediately putting yourself in danger. Many people painting the inside of their home will use a stepladder. These is perfect for interiors, but then when they come to work on the outside of the building, they try to use the stepladder for this as well. This is usually a mistake as a stepladder will not be tall enough to allow you reach up to higher parts of the property safely. Instead you should use an extension ladder so that you can reach up safely.

Inspect your ladder before using it

Once you’ve chosen the right ladder for the job you need to give it a thorough inspection. If you don’t carry out DIY very often it may be the case that your ladder is left alone for much of the year, this can lead to problems like a build-up of dirt or even damage during storage. So take a look over the ladder and ensure it’s in good enough condition to use. Don’t assume that it will be fine because it was a year ago.

Set it up correctly

The next aspect of ladder use that can be dangerous is setting it up incorrectly. Different makes and models of ladders will have specific ways of being set up by the general rule is that you should always have the feet of the ladder set on solid, flat ground and both arms at the top of the ladder firmly against the wall. Failing to do either of these things can leave the ladder at a risk of slipping, especially once you are standing on it. Ideally you should also have someone stand at the bottom of the ladder to hold it in place – this minimises the risk of it slipping when you are painting.

Wear the right shoes

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are carrying out DIY tasks at home that there’s no need to dress appropriately – this can lead to them wearing sandals or other unsafe footwear while on a ladder. If you are going to use a ladder safely then it’s essential that you wear rubber-soled or non-slip shoes.

Take regular breaks

Standing on a ladder for a significant period of time can be very tiring for your body; your feet and legs are having to take a heavy strain and you are in an unnatural position. So take a break every 20 minutes or so to give your legs, arms and back a rest.