Ladder Etiquette - What is It, and How Do We Support It?

‘Etiquette’ is probably not a word you would use in the construction industry - but it does perfectly describe what you need to be considering when it comes to ladder safety and storage. Whether you are considering the safety of your operators or the security of the ladders themselves, Bison offers a range of products that will protect the integrity of both in the long term.

Ladder Theft

Ladder theft is a phenomenon that is not given enough credence in the UK. There are no official figures that highlight the preponderance of theft across the country, yet there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests it is a common problem, resulting in thousands of incidents reported every year.

According to the Metropolitan Police, there were over 500 reported ladder thefts in 2018 in London alone. Note, though, we are only referring here to ‘reported’ thefts. When you add in the potential unreported thefts and then multiply this across the country, we are looking at thousands.

Implementing proper storage for ladders will go a long way to preventing the risk of ladder theft. Bison has a number of products that will help companies and individuals quickly and efficiently lock ladders away from the grasping hands of those with bad intentions, protecting your investment and ensuring your work is not interrupted by the loss of vital equipment.

Ladder Storage Brackets

For overnight storage, lockable ladder storage brackets provide a universal system that is both space-saving and highly secure. They can be mounted to either the ceiling or the wall, and locking arms can be secured with a padlock to increase the integrity of the security. This secure storage of ladders will also appease your insurance company.

While these brackets offer peace of mind overnight or when the ladders are not needed for a job, the other more vulnerable area for ladders is when loaded onto a van roof. Too often, these are swiftly swiped when the driver is away quoting on a job or popping into the local merchants for supplies.

This problem can be solved with the installation of roof rack ladder clamps.

The Bison ladder roof clamps secure and lock a three-section telescopic ladder cluster to your roof bar. This makes it literally impossible for an opportunistic thief to steal a ladder.

Ladder Safety Devices

As well as the storage of ladders, there are a number of ways that Bison can also improve the safe use of ladders.

Falls from ladders are common and widespread. According to the HSE, 8400 accidents every year are the result of falls from height - many of which will be from ladders. Equally, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents also estimates that, of the 25,000 plus falls from heights accidents that happen every year, ladders are involved in a high proportion.

To counter these rising numbers, Bison has developed a low-cost but highly practical range of products that are designed to improve safety for the ladder operator specifically.

Creating a Stable Working Environment

The fundamental focus of ladder safety devices is to create a stable working platform whereby the operator is able to perform their duty while at height. The safety range includes stabilisers, stand-offs, roof hooks, safety rails, and footers.

While these devices are an important part of maintaining overall ladder etiquette, you must take into account a number of good working practices to maximise working at height safety. The following gives you a good guideline of what you and your team should be aware of when working on ladders:

  • Always carry out regular monitoring and maintaining of your ladders’ condition. This way, you will pick up on any loose screws and compromised fixings.
  • When setting the ladder up for operation, make sure it is on firm, level ground. If leaning the ladder against a wall, follow the four-to-one rule - for every four feet of height, the ladder should be one foot away from the wall. So, if the ladder is 12 feet high (3.6m), the feet should be 3 feet (91cm) from the base of the wall.
  • Maintain three points of contact at all times when on the ladder.
  • Do not step on the top three rungs of a ladder, and only go up and down and face forward. Do not attempt to climb the ladder backwards.
  • Only one person on the ladder at any one time.

Combining these safe working practices with the relevant Bison ladder safety device, you are able to implement better risk management processes for the safe yet practical use of working at height.

If you are interested in learning more about how Bison products can improve ladder safety, call us on 01283 215097 for further information.