If you’re an electrician, you’ll be used to working at height and this means that you not only have to think about staying safe while working at height, but also doing so safely around sources of electricity. So how do you get the job done safely?
Your priority is obviously choosing the right ladder for the job. What type of ladder is best for electricians? We give you the answer in this blog.
Working with electricity: The essential rules
NEVER use metal ladders
Even if this seems like we’re stating the obvious, it’s also good to have a reminder of the basic fact that metals conduct electricity. So if you’re working around or near exposed wires or any sort of current, using a metal ladder will increase your chances of electrocution.
Don’t work within 6 metres of overhead power lines
If you’re working at height, overhead power lines can pose a hazard. They contain some serious voltage and could electrocute you and kill you instantly. The Health and Safety Executive recommends that you give them a wide berth and stay at least 6 metres away from cables that haven’t been made dead or insulated.
Remember you don’t need to touch a power cable to get a shock
Even being close to live wires and cables can expose you to what is known as an arc flash, caused by a discharge of electricity, usually as the result of a fault. An arc flash can be as dangerous as electrocution. The higher the voltage running through the cables, the higher the chance of an arc flash occurring. This is why you should make sure that all safety precautions have been taken with regards to your attire, tools, ladder, and working practices before you work near or around power lines.
The best ladders for electricians
Timber or glass fibre ladders are the best ladders for electricians. Neither option conducts electricity. Glass fibre ladders are often the ladder of choice because they are stronger, more durable, and lighter, which makes them easier to transport. It’s worth noting though that these ladders still must be kept clean and well-maintained, because a dirty or damp ladder may not be completely safe when you’re working with or around electrical sources at height. A damp ladder can still conduct electricity.
Remember the rules of working with ladders
As ever, not matter what type of ladder you’re working with, you must follow certain safety rules at all times. Make sure your ladder is secure and that it’s positioned on solid, flat ground with no mounds, lumps, loose stones, or dips. Always maintain three points of contact with the ladder when working or climbing it (two feet, one hand/one foot, two hands).
Your ladder should also always be the right height for the job. You should never overstretch or stand on the top rung, invest in a taller ladder for the job. It’s better to do this than cut corners and put yourself in harm’s way.
Our Glass Fibre Ladders
Our Glass Fibre Ladders are fully-insulated for protection from electric shock, they are non -conductive, and they’re designed for use in professional working environments where electrical hazards exist. If you’re an electrician or service engineer, these are your ladders of choice and are an essential for getting the job done safely and efficiently.
For peace of mind, our Glass Fibre Ladders are BS EN-131 certified for professional use, and many models are manufactured right here in the UK.
In the safetysteps.co.uk range, you’ll find glass fibre platform stepladders insulated to 30,000 volts, glass fibre combination ladders , glass fibre wide safety steps insulated to 25,000 volts, and glass fibre ladders insulated to 100,000 volts for high-risk workplaces. All our Fibreglass stepladders are made from the highest quality materials and supplied with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Our Glass Fibre Safety Steps and Ladders are an essential investment, not only because they provide a secure platform for working at height, but they can also protect operatives from potentially fatal electric shocks. They are foldable for easy storage in work vans and storerooms, and they are equipped with non-slip feet to ensure a good grip on all floor surfaces.
For information and advice on any of the ladders in our range, contact our friendly expert sales team on 01684 252212 or at [email protected]