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Key Points to consider when selecting Steps or Ladders

Working at height can be dangerous, therefore to help avoid accidents, a number of key points need to be taken into consideration:

  1. How long will the user be working at height?  Up to a maximum of 30 minutes in one position a set of steps or stepladder can be acceptable. Over 30 minutes steps with a built in working platform are recommended or even a scaffolding platform where space or height requirement allows.
  2. Is the load light or heavy?  Consider the weight of the user plus the weight of any materials they may be carrying when selecting steps or platforms. Our range of steps, ladders and platforms display the maximum safe load that is recommended by the manufacturer. We recommend that you stay within these guidelines.
  3. Will the user be able to reach the working area without having to stretch?  Always measure the maximum height needed to safely reach the working area and know the height or reach of the user who is carrying out the work. The working area should always be reached without the need to stretch.
  4. Will the steps need to be moved around the workplace? Consider aisle widths and the need for frequent moves during the work. Steps and Ladders made from aluminium are lightweight but steps made from steel are stronger and if the surface is suitable, steps with castors and wheels with a locking mechanism can make them easier to manoeuvre.

The Working at Height Regulations 2005 came into force on 6th April 2005. It applies to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause a personal injury. They place duties on employers, the self-employed and any person that controls the work of others (for example facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height).

As part of the Regulations, duty holders must ensure the following;

  • All work at height is properly planned and organised.
  • Those involved in work at height are competent users.
  • The risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used.
  • The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled.
  • Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.

Ratings & Standards

BS 2037 Class 1 = 175kg (heavy duty, Industrial use)
EN 131 = 150kg (industrial use)
EN 14183 = 150kg (applicable to 2 & 3 tread folding steps only)
BS EN 1004:2004 = 150kg (applicable for Towers only)

Consider the weight of the user plus the load they may be carrying when selecting the correct steps or platforms. Our product listings display the maximum safe load recommended by the manufacturer in accordance with HSE guidance.

PARRS offer:

Step Ladders: Platform or Swing back versions are available for general access to lower levels.
Multi-purpose or Combination Ladders: Hinged ladders used to stand off from un even surfaces as a lower level step or platform. Great for using on stairs and they stow away easily into a vehicle.
Extension Ladders: Use to lean against walls to gain access. The recommended maximum time working in one position is 30 minutes.
Mobile Steps: Used in retail and warehousing applications where mobility and handrails are required.
Podiums or Work Platforms: Allows you to work safely for longer periods of time. Can rotate 360o on a larger working platform that is guard-railed for safety.
Towers: Can be used to gain reach to higher levels and can be used for longer periods of time.
If you require any further guidance when making your purchase, please contact our Customer Service Team who will assist you in making the right choice.

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