Ladder Safety for Roof and Gutter Repairs

Roof and gutter repairs are usually carried out at height. Subsequently, you may need to use a high ladder, meaning there’s some risk involved. We want to help keep you safe so have created this guide to make sure you don’t come tumbling down whilst giving your gutter a spring clean! 

ladder safety

How long will you be up the ladder?

Health and safety guidelines state that if you would need to be up a ladder for more than 30 minutes at a time, you may be best to consider alternative equipment e.g. a scaffold tower. Roof and gutter repairs can often take longer than this, so bear that in mind.

Where are you placing the ladder? 

You should only ever use a ladder for roof and gutter repairs if you are in a safe location. In addition to this, the ground should be even, solid and level so that the ladder is stable and ideally somewhere you can secure it in place. 

Is the ladder safe to use for roof and gutter repairs? 

It’s always worth doing a pre-use check to ensure your ladder is in a usable condition. Moreover, these checks should be done prior to anyone stepping onto the ladder, and then again if the ladder is relocated. Be sure to check: 

The feet if there are feet missing, or the current ones are damaged or worn there’s a risk that your ladder could slip whilst in use. Also, if you are moving the ladder from a muddy or sandy surface to another, make sure there is no mud/sand caught on the feet as this could increase the risk of slipping too. 

The rungs– if these are missing, broken or loose, your ladder could fall. 

The stiles ensure these aren’t bent or damaged as these could buckle, causing you to fall. 

The locks– you want to ensure these are working and not worn or broken prior to use as again, the ladder could fall if these are broken or not locked properly. 

Do’s and Don’ts whilst using a leaning ladder for roof and gutter repairs

  • Don’t overreach! Your navel should always stay within the stiles. 
  • Do make sure the ladder is long/high enough to reach the task in hand 
  • Only carry light tools and equipment up the ladder
  • Do make sure the ladder is at a 75-degree angle to the wall (there’s a rule to measure this. 1 unit out to 4 units up, you can google if you’re unsure) 
  • Do always have three points of contact on the ladder at any one time (e.g. 1 hand and 2 feet or 2 hands and 1 foot whilst climbing) 
  • Do not slide down the stiles 
  • Don’t try and move the ladder whilst standing on it 
  • Don’t try and extend the ladder whilst standing on it 
  • Do secure the ladder if possible (e.g to scaffolding with the correct attachment fixtures or around a window) 
  • Do ensure the ladder in positioned where there is no risk of vehicles or people knocking whilst in use.  
  • Do use cones or barriers to mark out an area if there will be people or vehicles close by to prevent an accident. 

If you’d like some assistance with your roof and gutter repairs, get in touch !

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