Ladder Safety FAQs

Our Ladder Safety FAQs detail frequently asked questions and tailored answers written by our team of experts.

Do I need training to use a ladder at work?

You must be competent to use a ladder at work. A competent person is someone who has relevant experience, knowledge and training.

How often should ladders be inspected?

A ladder must be inspected by the user before every time it is used.

Formal inspections must also take place. These inspections must be conducted by a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The frequency of formal inspections depends on the level of risk.

What is the belt buckle rule on a ladder?

The belt buckle rule is keeping your belt buckle (which contains the tools you need for the job) in a position that means you don’t lean to one side and overbalance the ladder.

The belt buckle should be positioned with the weight on the front of your torso, in between the ladder’s rails.

What is the maximum height for a ladder?

There is no legal maximum height for a ladder. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend that there are landing areas or rest platforms when a ladder is 9 metres or more.

What is the biggest cause of ladder accidents?

Most accidents on ladders are caused by human error which is why ladder safety training is so important.

What is the '3 points of contact' rule?

You must always ensure you have three points of contact on a ladder. This means having two feet and one hand on the ladder or two hands and one foot.

If you need to use a tool that requires two hands it will usually be assessed as too risky.