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All industrial warehouses use ladders of some sort, so most warehouse managers are familiar with the terms ‘working height’ and ‘platform height’. Nonetheless, these terms refer to different things, which often confuses people who are looking to purchase new equipment for their business. The following information should allay this confusion, so you have the required knowledge to provide your staff with the tools they need.


Platform and Working Height – The Main Difference

Warehouse staff need to be able to climb ladders to certain heights, carry out tasks, then move to another location easily. Both aforementioned terms are used in connection with ladders, so it is important to understand these terms. Basically, 'platform height' describes the height that a ladder can be elevated to – i.e. how far that ladder is from the ground.

In contrast, 'working height' refers to the area that people of average height can reach, when using that ladder. To put it another way, while you are using a ladder, 'platform height' describes the position of your feet - whereas 'working height' describes what you can touch. If you are retrieving items from shelves, for example, the working height is the height of the most inaccessible shelf. For this reason, working height is always higher than platform height.


How To Work Safely On Ladders

Typically, when using extension ladders, the safe height to work is a quarter of the way from the top. Sometimes, when people require more height than this, they wrongly believe that they can risk climbing higher. The top rungs of extension ladders should be avoided though because it is too easy to tip these ladders over. This could result in a big fall that ends your life, so always get a taller ladder if you have any doubts.

Simple duties that do not need much physical strength (for the most part) can be performed at reasonably tall working heights. Obviously, this assumes that you follow appropriate ladder safety guidelines. More strenuous duties, on the other hand, which need lots of dexterity, co-ordination or strength are best completed in short sessions, or near to ground level. If you get tired up a ladder and make a mistake, this could cause a serious accident. Therefore, before you start working, always check that you have a long-enough ladder.

A working height example

Steps and Stillages sell several aluminium and fibre glass ladders, such as our Aluminium Warehouse Stepladder. This model has an open height to platform measurement of 1.22 metres. With these types of ladders, you can calculate the working height by adding seventy-five percent of an average user's height. Therefore, this ladder would have a working height of roughly 2.87 metres.

Find Out More

Our Steps and Stillages product catalogue includes a selection of ladders for all commercial applications. Also, we can build customised mobile warehouse ladders to meet your precise needs and protect your staff from preventable accidents. Please call us today on 01536 295137 to learn more.

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