When it comes to safety how to safely use a ladder on stairs is very important. In an ideal world using a multi-position ladder or a stairs ladder is the best solution.
However, if you find yourself in that situation with some task to undertake but the only available ladder is the extension or common step ladder.
In this case, you have to be more innovative and seek out more on how to accomplish your task and at the same time be safe. The uneven nature of the stairs poses a great risk to you when painting the stairs, changing bulbs, hanging a picture among others.
In this article, I have compiled several ways to keep yourself safe when working on the stairs.
How To Safely Use A Ladder On Stairs
1. Using a versatile/combination ladder on stairs
This is the most convenient ladder to use when working on the stairs. The good thing about this ladder is the ability to convert into multiple positions including a stairs ladder.
90 percent of ladder accidents come as a result of using the wrong ladders in the job. But this does not guarantee you 100 % safety as setting up the ladder safely is something that you need to do as well.
If you have an opportunity to own a staircase ladder, use it.
2. Using a ladder-aide on stairs
What is a ladder-aide? It is an accessory that you attach to a ladder when using it on uneven surfaces. You use this aide on two stairs (a lower and an upper one) to create a leveled platform whereby you can position your ladder.
There are different types of ladder aides to choose from. There are those that are fitted at the bottom of the ladder and those that create a flat ladder platform.
When choosing this ladder-aides, it is good to check on their stability and installation this too. It is important that when you a ladder-aide, go for the metallic one. They are more stable and able to hold your ladder with little pressure.
Another consideration especially for DIYers is to get an easy-to-install aide. This is to easily enable you to install it fast and easy too. Some people have become creative too and made some wooden platform which works out quite well. The only challenge comes with adjustment.
Some ladder-aides come with hardware that makes the aide much stable and stronger when in use. Such is the metal rock lock pin that locks the aide for your convenience.
3. Ladder Levellers on stairs
Another option for working with ladders on stairs is the levelers. Levelers act like some kind of ladder shoes that you fix on the ladder’s feet to keep it stable when working on the stairs.
The good thing about levels is the capacity to adjust to the level you want. They are designed with a unique foot that is used to extend the leveler to the size you want.
Alternatively, each side can be adjusted separately so that the ladder can be leveled. This makes it suitable for use not only on stairs but also on unlevelled surfaces.
4. Making A Scaffold Using 2 Ladders
This option is available if you own ladders and opt to use them instead of the accessories. This option is really not the best for the DIYers because it is very easy to cause an accident if not properly set.
This method can work with two options of ladders. (1) Two extension ladders (2) an extension ladder/A-Frame ladder and an extension ladder.
In both cases, you will still need a flat and strong surface and an overhanging wall.
When setting up the scaffold, the step ladder should always be placed on the upper stairs while the extension ladder leans against the overhanging wall on the lower side of the stairs.
Place the surface between the rungs of the step ladder and the rungs of the extension ladder overhanging the wall. You can change the surface from one rung to another depending on the target height.
Be extra cautious on how you set the ladder for stability. Also, ensure that the platform you pick is strong enough to support your weight when at work.
The best way on how to safely use a ladder on stairs is using the stairs ladder. However, when this ladder is not available the above options of accessories are a good alternative. In extreme cases, you can create a scaffolding ladder to work on stairs.
In all the cases, setting up the ladder rightly and testing the ladder before you can use it to ensure your safety.
Related: Best Ladders For Painting Stairs