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Workshop Product Guide

Correct Ladder Size Selection

How do I choose the right ladder size? You'll find tips and explanations on ladder lengths and sizes here.

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) state that Employers have a duty to assess the risks, plan and supervise all workers who work at height. You will find guidance about the regulations in: www.hse.gov.uk. Some of the key points related to ladder use are:

  • Always the follow the 1 in 4 rule i.e. 1 metre away from the wall for every 4 metres height. Keep 3 points of contact on the ladder at all times. Keep both feet on the same rung when working. On a leaning ladder do not use the top three rungs to avoid slippage.
  • Double sided ladders should only be climbed up to the third step/rung from the top, in order to maintain sufficient footing
  • Extension ladders should only be used up to the fifth rung from the top.
  • The height of step ladders with a platform and mobile safety steps should be selected so that the user can reach the maximum required working height without having to stretch out beyond the platform


Reach height

BGI 694 defines reach height as the height that can be reached from the predetermined standing height for a specific model of ladder. This height equates to approx. 2.00 m above standing height.

Working height

Working height is defined as the range for working at body height, e.g. with a drill. In order to account for the different working heights of each industrial sector, our catalogue assumes an average working height of 1.50 m above standing height.

Correct Ladder Size Selection pha
  • Standing height
  • Reach height
  • Working height

A simplified formula is derived from this definition*

  • Standing height + 1.50 m = working height
  • Standing height + 2.00 m = reach height

* This can vary depending on the model of ladder. Please observe the specifications in the technical tables in our catalogues.

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