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The use of Roof Ladders in conjunction with Leaning Ladders and Restraint Equipment.

This is intended to be a general guidance note and has been produced as a response to customers’ questions in relation to the use of the above work equipment. We will not accept any claims for consequential losses arising as a result of the content. This should be read in conjunction with other advice given by bodies such as HSE. Compliance with statutory instruments such as the Work At Height Regulations 2005 should be ensured all times together with accepted codes of good practice and other guidance.

Terms & Descriptions
A Roof Ladder should be manufactured with the sole intention of use as such- ie. One of the CHASE Ladders range.

A Leaning Ladder should be manufactured with the intention of use as such and should be certified to a recognised standard such as BS EN131.

Restraint equipment should be specifically intended for use in conjunction with leaning ladders and roof ladders on typical domestic type buildings.

For fragile roof work we recommend that guidance should be sought by the HSE-information on this type of work is available on their website.

Stage 1- Prepare the ladders for use

  • Both the leaning ladder and roof ladder should be long enough for the task. In the case of two part extending roof ladders these should be adjusted to the correct length when at ground level and should not be adjusted whilst on the roof.
  • Both the roof ladder and leaning ladder can be fitted with running lines in accordance with the restraint manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Pre use checks of all equipment should be carried out at this stage. It is assumed that all detailed examinations have been carried out and records kept.
  • The user should be wearing the necessary PPE.
  • The user should be competent for the task and we recommend some form of formal training in the use of the equipment whether this is provided by the manufacturer or a nationally recognised training body such as the Ladder Association.
Prepare the ladders for use - Image by Tetra Ladder Safety

Stage 2- Secure the ladders

  • Secure the leaning ladder to the building structure at the correct angle (taking care not to over-tension the restraining strap) attach restraint harness to running line with rope grab – all in accordance with the restraint manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Take hold of the roof ladder near the top ideally by the second or third rungs down at a point where the roof ladder feels well balanced.
  • Ascend the leaning ladder and run the roof ladder up onto the roof using the wheels fitted to the roof hook.
  • Turn the roof ladder over and allow the ridge hook to sit securely over the apex of the roof.
  • Ensure that the bearers fitted to the roof ladder contact with the roof properly.
  • Secure the leaning ladder and the roof ladder together at this point using a suitable method.
Secure the ladders - Image by Tetra Ladder Safety
Secure the Ladders - Image by Tetra Ladder Safety

Stage 3 – Transfer onto the roof and perform the task

  • It is assumed at this point that the system is fully secured and that any dynamic loadings imposed upon it would be dissipated throughout the whole structure in accordance with the design of the restraint equipment.
  • Attached separate short lanyard with karabiner (or similar) to the top rung (s) of the leaning ladder to maintain 3 points of contact.
  • Disengage rope grab from the leaning ladder running line and transfer over to the other running line on the roof ladder – In accordance with the restraint manufacturer’s instructions
  • Disengage short lanyard, the user at this point should transfer carefully over to the roof ladder in a safe manner.
  • The operative should carry out the task required before reversing the procedure when descending to ground level.

Images courtesy of TETRA

Transfer onto the roof - Image by Tetra Ladder Safety