A ladder consists of two stiles with crossbars (rungs or steps) between them and are used to reach heights which would normally not be accessible. Ladders can be either self-supporting (such as a step ladder) or need to be placed against something.
The price for a ladder mostly depends on its maximum working height.
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A ladder is a climbing tool made from two stiles with crossbars (rungs or steps) between them. Ladders can be used to reach heights which would normally not be accessible, by placing a ladder against something (e.g. a house) or by using a freestanding ladder. Hiring a ladder can be for many applications, going from jobs in the house to certain trade jobs (e.g. painting) and outside jobs (e.g. tree pruning).
Hire shops typically have following types of ladders available for hire:
When hiring a ladder, you will see different heights listed in the product specifications. What is of interest is the safe working height of a ladder. If the safe working height is not given, you might find the open or extended height, however take into account that you cannot place a ladder fully vertical, so this does not equal your working height. The closed height of a ladder can be useful to determine whether you can transport it yourself or need to arrange a delivery.
You should always have 3 points of contact with the ladder when climbing (e.g. one hand and two feet) and also when working at height (whenever possible).
The HSE guideline is to have the ladder at an angle of 75°, which corresponds with the 1 in 4 rule (1 unit of distance horizontally for every 4 units of distance vertically).
For further information on how to safely use a ladder, please check the HSE guide.
When using a ladder it is recommended to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Recommended safety equipment for a ladder consists of the following: safety helmet and protective gloves.
Guide written by Tomas Mertens (Master of Engineering at KU Leuven)