Step up your safety with regular ladder inspections

Posted on 10th Mar, 2014 | By Lorretta Tatham


If your staff use ladders and access equipment – either occasionally or frequently – then regular and thorough ladder inspections are an essential part of your Health and Safety obligations.

In this article, we take a closer look at some of the damage your ladders might incur and outline some of the ways in which ladder inspections can help keep your staff safe.

What kind of damage can ladder inspections pick up on?

Ladders are made up of a number of different parts and materials, all of which must be regularly inspected to ensure the safety of your employees.

Feet and End Caps

When using a ladder, you need to make sure you’re on steady footing – so make sure the ladder’s feet and end caps are in good working order.

  • Ensure there are none missing or loose.
  • Make sure there are no loose/missing fixings or screws.
  • Check for cracks and splits.
  • Look out for excessive wear – e.g. the feet grooves worn away.


Strong stiles are a crucial part of a ladder – they stabilise the whole structure and support the rungs.

  • Check for any contamination/dirt – e.g. paint, chemicals or glue spillages.
  • Look for impact damage, such as bent rungs or dents in stiles from contact with excessively heavy or falling objects
  • Ensure the stiles have no holes, tears, splinters or cracks from heavy use.
  • Make sure that the stiles are straight, with no bows, twists or bends. • Ensure there is no corrosion from rust, oxidisation or rotting.

Treads and Rungs

You should perform a pre-use inspection every time you use your ladders – this should include a close look at the treads / rungs.

  • Check that they are not corroded, rotten, damaged or loose.
  • Ensure they are straight, tight, and not buckled or bent.
  • Make sure they are kept clean and free of debris at all times.

Guide Brackets

Finally, take a close look at any guide brackets on your ladders before getting to work.

  • Ensure they are not corroded, contaminated, rusted or distorted in any manner.
  • Make sure that none are missing.
  • Check that they are all secured fully.
  • Verify that the sections pass through smoothly without sticking or jamming.

Ladder inspections: part of your Health and Safety requirements

It is vital to inspect your ladders before each and every use. And, as your organisation has ladders or other access equipment, a thorough inspection should also be carried out on a regular basis by a competent person.

Here at Browns Ladders, we offer a regular ladder inspection service that will enable your organisation to fulfil its legal Health and Safety obligations.

Our experienced and professional team has been carrying out ladder inspections for over 15 years, so you can be sure your business is in safe hands with us.

To find out more about our ladder inspection service, or to book in with us today, contact a member of our team – we’re always happy to help.

You can email us or, for an instant response, try the chat function at the bottom of the page. We’ll make sure that your ladders are safe, and you have the documentation to prove it!

Has a ladder inspection saved one of your staff members from catastrophe? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below, or tweet us @BrownsLadders

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