In recent years, trends have shown an increase in the use of platform ladders among industrial and residential users. Here’s why you shouldn’t be without one.
Platform ladders increase productivity: more platform space and longer handrails allow for more room to move when working in multiple directions.
Platform ladders are more comfortable to work with, and with full foot support on the platform, you can work longer hours without fatigue.
Platform ladders improve safety statistics: they eliminate top covers and top steps that are unsafe to climb. Eliminating non-climbing surfaces reduces misuse and OSHA fines. In addition, less climbing up and down reduces the chance of slips and falls.
There are a wide variety of scaffolding towers on the market, from simple DIY towers to more complex structures for trade use. For the home DIY enthusiast, mobile scaffolding towers are easy to use and do not require any expertise.
However, if used for professional purposes and the tower is large in scale, the Working at Height Regulations require that any person working at height must be competent in the use of the relevant equipment and needs to be able to demonstrate their competence. At BPS, our scaffold towers meet the needs of homeowners looking for a ladder replacement and professional tradesmen who need a scaffold tower for their daily work.
There are four main types of telescopic ladders to consider. Each has its own advantages, depending on the type of project to be undertaken and the height required.
Two extension ladders – These are double extension ladders that consist of a ladder and an internal sliding section that can be extended to the desired height and then locked into place to provide a safe, stable ladder. They should have a full stabilizer bar at the bottom to provide a wider point of contact with the ground for added stability. Premium models with wrap-around steel clamps and nylon restraining straps provide the most secure connection between sections and minimize bounce during use. These also prevent excessive tension to ensure the correct level of overlap between sections.
Triple Extension Ladder – This is a three-section extension ladder that includes a ladder and two internal sliding extensions. Due to the additional extensions, these are optimal for safe work at more extreme heights and have the same characteristics as a two-section ladder. Again, these sections extend to the desired height and lock into place, but the additional extensions provide greater length. When fully extended, the ladder is locked in two positions for a very sturdy construction. Combined with the stabilizer bar and restraint straps, this is the safest option for working at higher heights. In addition, the shorter length when all sections are retracted and closed makes this ladder easier to store and transport.
Multipurpose Ladders – These ladders have four sections connected by three sets of hinges that can be assembled into a variety of configurations. Each hinge has a locking mechanism lever that can be pressed to allow the hinge to open and automatically lock at a specific angle. In other configurations, this allows the ladder to be fully extended to create a standard straight ladder, folded to create a double-sided ladder, assembled as stair steps that can stand at different heights at the same time, or assembled as a platform support. It is a good idea to look for models with stabilizer bars on both ends and platforms that lock into place for added stability. When folded, they are compact enough to fit in the trunk of a car for transport or to store in a cabinet.
Telescoping Ladders – These ladders are very compact when retracted because each part of the door stile is lower r part of the transverse slot below, similar to a stack of paper cups. When unfolded, the second lowest section unfolds and snaps into place when fully expanded. More sections can then be extended until the desired height is reached. To retract the ladder, each section has two release buttons on the front of the rung, and when these buttons are pressed, the section slides back to the one below. Premium modern models use a compressed air system to slow retraction so the user’s fingers don’t get caught when the rung is lowered into place, and the indicator shows green for added safety when the section is extended and locked into place. Although they have wide rubber feet, it is recommended that leveling pads be used on uneven or smooth surfaces for extra grip.