One of the common reactions we get when deploying a long ladder up onto a roof is “shouldn’t you be using a scaffold?”

It is as if ladders are no longer considered safe. People are shocked when I tell them that our longest ladder, which can extend up to 45 feet or 3 ½ storeys, is the safest ladder on the truck.

When deployed properly by trained roofers, its sheer girth and width allied to its heavier construction make climbing it like climbing up stairs. You get no lateral movement as experienced with smaller gauge ladders, only the rhythmic dip in and out as you ascend which is something we are all used to. Oh and next time you see roofers on ladders, notice their stance and how far out they lean. This is to transfer all their weight onto their feet, freeing up the arms for more balance.

People frightened of heights make the mistake of hugging the ladder, bringing all their weight onto the arms making it difficult to balance and to see where they are going. No wonder they get scared climbing like that, I would too!

So if big ladders handled correctly by trained personnel are safe, what are unquestionably the most dangerous to deal with, the household stepladder.

Stepladders should really carry a health warning as they are ubiquitous and each one is a potential accident waiting to happen. I can guarantee all of you have had a nasty scare or even a bad fall off one, or if not you may know someone close to you who has.

Their very design with the centre of gravity when loaded so high up, means that a slight stretch too far sideways and the whole edifice with you on it will twist and pitch you off onto the floor.

So think about it, who is taking the real risks, the roofer or you the next time you take that death trap out of the shed…

The Roofing Crew offers professional and affordable roofing services in London at affordable rates. If you have any questions or you require a free quote, simply get in touch via email – info@theroofingcrew.co.uk – alternatively, you give us a call on 07973 429 945.