Safer Places of Worship

Ladders & Steps

Working on ladders can be dangerous. Often people use ladders without anyone else present, and often choose the wrong ladders for the task at hand.

It is advisable to promote that employees and volunteers have someone with them supporting and steadying ladders whilst they are in use and that the three point contact principle is observed, i.e two feet on the ladders and one hand holding on to the ladders by the operator.

It is also advisable to ensure that anyone who uses ladders is trained in the safe use and appropriate selection of ladder for the task.

See the section on falls from height for the basic principles of assessing, preventing and reducing the risks.

  • Think: before you, or one of your employees uses a ladder, set of steps, or even a chair to perform a task for you.
  • Is this the right equipment for the job?

Common causes of falls include:

  • over reaching;
  • the user slips;
  • the ladder slips;
  • the ladder breaks.

All ladders and steps should be properly maintained and regularly checked for defects. If any problems are found they should be taken out of use immediately.

See the HSE's guidance notes on the safe use of ladders and stepladders