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The Ultimate Guide to Fixed Ladders: Types and Safety Tips

Fixed ladders are integral to safe and efficient operations in various domestic, industrial, and commercial environments. From houses, flats, warehouses to construction sites, these ladders help the public and professionals to access internal and external high areas safely and quickly. This guide will provide you with detailed information on the different types of fixed ladders, safety protocols, and installation tips.

What is a Fixed Ladder?

A fixed ladder is permanently attached to a structure. These ladders are designed for frequent use, offering a stable and reliable means of accessing elevated areas. They are typically made from durable materials like steel or aluminium to withstand harsh conditions and heavy use.

Types of Fixed Ladders

Fixed ladders come in several types, each suited for specific applications:

  • Cage Ladders: Enclosed in a cage for added safety, ideal for tall structures.
  • Roof Access Ladders: Designed to provide secure access to rooftops.
  • Vertical ladders without cage: That use alternative fall arrest systems, used commonly for shafts and areas with space restrictions.

Each ladder type serves a unique purpose, and selecting the right one depends on the specific needs of your site.

Safety Regulations for Fixed Ladders

Adhering to safety standards is crucial

The Work at Height Regulations 2005: These regulations mandate that all work at height, including work on fixed ladders, must be properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent persons. The regulations emphasize using the right type of equipment for work at height.

BS 4211: Specification for Permanently Fixed Ladders: This standard specifies requirements for permanently fixed ladders in terms of design, construction, and installation to ensure safety at all times. It includes requirements for features such as landing platforms, safety cages, and ladder dimensions.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER): These regulations require that all work equipment, including fixed ladders, must be suitable for its intended purpose, properly maintained, inspected regularly, and used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction, and training.

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: While not specific to ladders, this act places a duty on employers to ensure the safety and health of their employees and the public. This includes providing safe equipment and systems of work, which apply to the use of fixed ladders.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: These regulations require employers to assess risks, including those associated with working at height on ladders, and to put in place appropriate measures to manage and control such risks.

Compliance with these standards and regulations is essential not only for legal compliance but also to ensure the safety of individuals using fixed ladders in the workplace. Employers must conduct regular risk assessments, provide adequate training to employees, and ensure that all equipment meets the required safety standards.

Choosing the Right Fixed Ladder

Selecting a fixed ladder requires consideration of several factors:

Height and Load Capacity: Ensure the ladder can safely accommodate the height needed and the expected load.

Material: Choose a material that best suits the environmental conditions of the installation site.

What is the intended use for the ladder: when looking into the usage of the ladder this needs to be specified to make sure the correct design and design is used.

DIN 18799-1: Fixed ladders for construction work

DIN 14094-1: Fixed ladders for fire fighting purpose and emergency escape ladder installations

EN ISO 14122-4: Safety for machinery, permanent means of access to machinery

Installation Tips for Fixed Ladders

Proper installation is essential for safety. Start by ensuring the wall or structure is capable of supporting the ladder (Contact a structural engineer for assistance if needed). Use appropriate fixtures and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Regular checks and maintenance are vital to keep the ladder safe over time.

Maintenance and Inspection

Routine maintenance and inspections are necessary to ensure the ladder remains in good condition and safe to use. Create a maintenance schedule and perform inspections according to industry standards. Choosing the right fixed ladder and maintaining it properly are crucial for ensuring workplace safety and efficiency. Always adhere to relevant safety standards and best practices.


Murdoch Ladders provides high-quality, well-constructed vertical fixed ladders that meet industry standards, making them ideal for various applications such as working at height, accessing buildings, roofs, or machinery requiring maintenance.

Our ladders are available in aluminium and galvanised steel and are available in any RAL colour powder-coated finish in matt, satin, and gloss. Additionally, we offer a wide range of customisable options like different entrances and exits, access protection devices, safety barriers, platforms, and hooped cages, ensuring versatility and safety for all usage scenarios.