If you are going to use a ladder, either at work or at home, you need to ensure that you are doing it safely. Here are three common ladder mistakes that even experienced users make – you need to avoid them as they can put you in danger.

1 - Underestimating a step ladder

A step ladder only takes you a few feet off the ground, so that means that you do not need to follow the same strict regulations as you would if you were using an extension ladder – right? The truth is that while you might not be as high off the ground on a step ladder as you are on other types, you are still at risk of injury when you work at right.

Shorter falls can be just as damaging to your body, not least because you haven’t taken any safety precautions to protect against them. So, if you are going to use a step ladder you need to make sure that you are doing so with the utmost safety and care – just as you would with a much taller ladder.

2 - Assuming your ladder is still in good condition

There is no doubt that ladders are strong and sturdy pieces of equipment that can withstand a great deal of use. However, no ladder is indestructible, and it is in fact the case that your ladder can deteriorate over a short period of time as it is likely to get a lot of heavy use, for example if you are carrying out a DIY project.

It is essential, then, to thoroughly check your ladder is still in good condition before each use. Do not assume that a ladder is safe to use.

3 - Setting up your ladder on unstable ground

It is essential that you should always set your ladder up safely and correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. But one of the most common mistakes that people make is they set up their ladder on ground that is simply unsuitable for it. You have to stand your ladder on a solid foundation – if you can’t then this is not a safe area for you to be using that ladder.

Never cut corners with ladders, as doing so can put your life at risk when you are working at height if something goes wrong.