Extension ladders are such a handy piece of equipment for a range of reasons just like a home use ladder. If you are reaching heights on a daily basis or if you are cleaning the gutters you can sometimes struggle when working at height. This is where safety accessories such as a ladder stand off really helps. This article will tell you firstly what a ladder stand off is and why you should use one.
What is a ladder stand off?
A ladder stand off is a helpful positioning tool for an extension ladder. The stand off will allow you to be positioned further away from the wall to give you a better working angle. The stand off also helps to distribute the weight of the ladder to reduce the risk of damaging any surfaces you are leaning against.
It keeps your ladder roughly 20” off the surface you are leaning against, giving a wider span, this increases the ladder stability and some stand offs are designed for working around guttering or downpipes.
Why should you use a ladder stand off?
Ladder standoff keeps you away from gutters, overhangs and it also helps to keep yourself centred in your work e.g. working around a window. Depending on the type of ladder stand off you use, it can even allow you to have the ladder leaning against a sloping roof without applying too much pressure and damaging any roof slates/ guttering.
How to attach a ladder stand off
Attaching your ladder stand off to your extension ladder is going to completely depend on the type of ladder stand off and ladder you are going to use.
We recommend following any instructions provided with the stand off or watching a video from the manufacturer showing the best practice, to ensure the safe use of your ladder stand off.
Please also make sure to research that the extension ladder/ brand you are using is compatible with your ladder stand off. Most stand offs are universal however some are manufactured with certain models and ranges in mind.
How to safely use a ladder stand off
To ensure you are using your ladder stand off safely we recommend attaching your ladder stand off no lower than the third rung down from the top of your extension ladder. When the stand off is in use it should lean steadily against the wall. If the wall surface is slippery or is causing the ladder to rock due to an uneven surface, we recommend using another method for completing your task to ensure maximum safety from a fall from height.
As with any piece of working at height equipment inspect your ladder and stand off before use, all of the stand off pieces should be fixed to the ladder and present. If you find you are missing any components or have any damages to your equipment, stop work immediately.
When attached your ladder stand off please make sure to follow the manufacturer instructions completely the ladder stand off should feel completely secure with no doubt that it may become loose during your job.
Different types of ladder standoffs
There is a whole range of different ladder stand offs from different manufacturers depending on the type of job you are completing and the work environment you are in.
Standard universal stand offs are great for your day to day maintenance tasks, if you are changing lightbulbs or cleaning the gutters. They keep you away from the wall and give you a perfect working angle.
A V shaped ladder stand off can be used against any flat surface e.g. a wall but with the added V feature you can also use the stand off to lean against any poles making it perfect for work on a traffic light or even on the corner of a building.