When working on a ladder the most important piece of safety equipment is the footwear you are using. Sometimes when individuals carry out DIY or even work on industrial sites they fail to wear proper footwear – this can lead to the risk of serious injuries, as the wrong shoes can make you far more likely to slip and fall. Clearly you should avoid wearing any open-toe shoes such as sandals or flip-flops while on a ladder, but there are other important aspects you need to take into account when choosing the right shoes for the job.

Non-slip soles

One important aspect of your shoes is that they should have non-slip soles. Slipping from ladder is about the worst thing it is possible to do while you are working at height, so you want to ensure that your shoes provide you with a steady footing as you work. Remember that soles can get worn down so that they have barely any tread – make sure you check them before you go up the ladder.

Make sure they fit and are comfortable

Don’t sacrifice fit and comfort when you choose the shoes. If the shoes hurt or don’t fit properly they can leave you vulnerable as you may be attempting to stand an awkward angle to stop the shoes from rubbing. Doing so effectively neutralises their effectiveness on the ladder and puts you at further risk. Choose shoes that are the correct fit and feel comfortable at all times.

Defined heel

Choose a shoe that has a defined heel – ideally at 90 degrees. This can help to prevent the possibility of you slipping off a rung while up the ladder. This will give you the best stability. It’s also worth choosing boots with steel toe caps to provide you with better protection while you carry out the work.

Avoid long laces

Lace-up shoes are fine for work on ladders, just make sure that the laces do not dangle. This can be a trip hazard and can make it harder for you to manoeuvre safely while on the ladder. Ideally it is worth choosing footwear that has a buckle, zip or Velcro fastener, to remove the risk presented by laces. If your shoes do have long laces you should tie them in a double knot so that they cannot trip you.