If I get a dollar every time someone asked me if it is safer to climb a ladder if someone else was holding the ladder while they climbed.
No, it is not necessarily ‘safer, in fact, it could even lead to carelessness which may lead to an accident.
So having someone hold the ladder for you is not a good or a bad thing but to be totally honest, you do not need someone to hold the ladder for you.
Should Someone Hold the Ladder?
There are specific cases where you may need someone to guard or even possibly hold the bottom of the ladder while you climb it.
For example, in a situation where there is a lot of foot traffic in the location where the ladder is being used or it may be in a situation where someone or something is likely to come around or close to the ladder while it is being used.
There are also other ways of being safe in a location where there is a lot of foot movement going on around the ladder.
Safety signs can be placed around the foot of the ladder to direct people away from the ladder.
Essentially, people can hold the ladder to protect you, the climber, if you are using the ladder in a location where it is easy and likely for people or things to bump into it and cause a fall.
That is an important moment when you need someone to hold the ladder for you.
However, if you cannot find someone to hold the ladder for you, you can as well place signs at the foot of the ladder, as I mentioned before.
How to Hold a Ladder for Someone
I am sure you must have seen some people holding the foot of a ladder with their two hands. That is the proper way to hold a ladder, with your two hands and standing upright.
What you must not do is lean into the ladder with your whole weight or hold it with one hand because you could push your weight into just one side of the ladder.
When holding a ladder please keep in mind that a ladder, even though it is one of the simplest equipment it could also be very dangerous when used carelessly.
Hold the ladder with both hands, do not lean your weight into the ladder, and plant your feet firmly on the ground.
Do You Need Two People for A Ladder?
Typically, the majority of ladders are built for one person per time except for twin step ladders.
A twin-step ladder is designed and built in a way that two people can climb on opposite sides of the ladder at the same time. Every other ladder is only meant to accommodate one climber per time.
However, if this question is also referring to having one person climb the ladder while the second person holds the ladder at the foot.
Then my answer remains the same, while you do not need someone to hold the ladder for you as far as the ladder is stable and firmly placed on the ground.
In such a case that the ladder is being used in a location where there is a lot of foot traffic and you do not have any signs to direct people away from getting too close to the ladder, then you need a second person to hold the ladder for you.
You may also need a second person on a ladder if the task requires two people to accomplish it together. In this case, the best ladder to use is either a twin step ladder or a multi-functional ladder that can be fashioned into a twin step ladder.
If any of this is not the case, then two people are not needed on a ladder at the same time. It is safer. Do not attempt to climb a ladder that already has another person on it except it’s a twin-step ladder. It could lead to serious falls and injuries.
Read More: What Ladder Do You Need
Do You Need Someone to Hold an Extension Ladder?
No, you do not need it except in some specific scenario. As I said before, if a ladder is used properly and the necessary guidelines are followed then you do not need anyone to hold the ladder for you.
Also, do not make the mistake of using a bad ladder and thinking if someone holds the ladder at the foot or base then all will be well. You must never use a ladder, it will lead to serious damages and injuries.
It makes no difference if someone is holding the ladder or not.
You would only need someone to hold an extension ladder for you if the hard surface the ladder is leaning on is not flat enough or if there is a lot of foot traffic in the location and no signs are available to indicate to people to steer away from the ladder.
Essentially, you do not ‘need’ people to hold an extension ladder for you but you may require them in the scenarios I mentioned above.
How Do You Keep a Ladder from Slipping?
To prevent a ladder from slipping there are certain things you need to keep in mind.
The surface you intend to place the ladder or lean the ladder against should always be firm, dry, flat, and with a steady topography.
Also, the aerial environment of the ladder should be free of things that could cause an accident like power lines except being used by electrical experts who are trained to do it.
Also, make sure never to lean the ladder against a window or any breakable surface. Do not plant a ladder on snow, or a muddy or icy environment.
Also, avoid placing a ladder in front of a door. Another common mistake people make after getting the wrong ladder size is placing the ladder on top of bricks or books or a box to give the ladder a higher reach.
This is simply an accident waiting to happen. Get another ladder with a higher reach. These are all incidents that can lead to slips and falls.
Joseph is the owner of LadderGeek. He is a home remodeling enthusiast. He has created this blog to share some of his knowledge on Ladder and accessories.