How to choose the right ladder or steps

Jobs where you are required to work from height also mean that you need to have access to the right equipment at all times, this isn’t just common sense it is part of the working at height regulations that employers need to comply with.

If you are required to work from height then here is some information on ladders and steps you might find helpful when trying to decide what type of ladder or step is best suited for your needs.

Step ladders & platforms – for those ‘just beyond reach’ jobs

These are great for reaching things on shelves that are just that little too high, giving you that boost in height you need. They are easy to move around the office and have slip resistant surfaces to make using them as safe as possible.

Step ladders fold up for easy storage and transportation, as do the step trucks. But step trucks these have the added advantage of doubling up as a sack truck.

Platform based steps such as the mobile kick steps and wider work platforms offer a stable place to stand as you complete the work and are small enough to store under a desk.

Mobile steps – to get something down from a height in a warehouse

As they are easily movable, mobile safety steps are versatile and suitable for a wide range of jobs around the workplace. Mobile safety steps, are particularly good if you are working in a warehouse and need to pick stock or get something down from a height.

Their domed feet and rubber protection rings mean that they are sturdy and not liable to slip or slide. When you buy from Key, there is also the option to make your steps anti slip if this is likely to be a concern.

Multi-purpose ladders – for when you need extra stability or extra height

The appeal of an adjustable ladder, like the 2 and 3 section combination ladder, is in its ability to become either an A Frame ladder if you need some extra stability or an extension ladder if the job might require some extra height.

With retractable legs and multi-hinges you can use these ladders in a variety of different environments including on the stairs. They are usually light enough to carry and can also stow away really easily, making transportation a doddle.

Working platforms – extra stability for when jobs require reaching out

A strong and study working platform is ideal for painters and decorators for example, as it allows you to get to the height you need for the job without worrying about slipping. It is also designed to take your weight and balance it evenly as your feet rest near each end.

With our larger platforms, you can also rest items on the platform which can save time going up and down fetching things. If you are short on space or need to move it from job to job the ability to fold it away also adds to its appeal.

With a 5 year guarantee and free next day delivery you can order with confidence from Key.

Extension ladders – great for use on exterior jobs

This type of ladder is excellent if you are working on the exterior of a building or need access to your roof for a short period of time.

A nice feature of the triple extension ladder is that it can split down to become 3 separate ladders; making it one of the most versatile we have seen.

On the other hand our professional telescopic ladder allows you to extend rung by rung, making it ideal for almost any job.

Fixed ladders & steps – for when you don’t need to move the ladder from place to place

These are ideal for work that is done in the same place. An example would be a loft ladder where the ladder is used just for access to the loft. When not in use the loft ladder folds away into the loft space.

Other types of fixed ladder such as fixed warehouse steps give you the advantage of a fixed height ladder combined with maneuverability of a fixed anti-slip platform and handrails.

Towers – for those jobs that can take a while

If you need to work at height for a long period of time then towers are the solution for you. The modular access towers allows you to work at heights of up to 6 meters; they do not need tools to set them up; and if you choose the telescopic folding towers you can have the platform out from the van and erected in just 3 minutes.

The platform means you spend more time working and less time climbing up and down to get to the ideal position.

Other warehouse specific solutions

To improve efficiency and safety double-sided picking steps allow access from either side of the steps and are easy to move into place, the handrails allow the user to maintain 3-point contact while lifting an item from the shelf.

An alternative to the double sided picking steps are the large platform mobile step. As the name suggests this has a large platform to stand on and the non-marking casters make it easy to move. Once in place the casters are retracted and the 4 rubber based feet give a secure working position.

One of the requirements of steps in a warehouse is that they need to be easy to move, this is the big advantage of the tilt and pull steps. As the name suggests, all you need to do is tilt the steps forward onto their rubber wheels and use the safety rail to manoeuvre the steps into position.

Roof rack clamps – the essential travel companion

Safely transporting your equipment from one location to another is a concern, with the exception of the working platform it is unlikely the steps and ladders will fit conveniently in a van for transportation. Roof rack clamps can help you move ladders safely.

We have 81 different ladders, steps and towers to suit all kinds of working at height, so if you need any more advice get in touch with our customer care team on or browse the range here.


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  • Posted on 20 April 2015