This time of year, it seems like there is a lot of maintenance to do outside, and no doubt you will sometimes need a ladder for the job. Although a ladder is a very useful tool to have, and its one that requires no special permit to own and operate, does that mean that we know the correct way to use one?
164,000 injuries are caused each year in the United States alone because of not using a ladder correctly or being unsafe while using one. That’s a sad fact, and what is even more distressing is that many of these injuries have been fatal. Isn’t it important then, to look at ways to stay safe?
Safety tips to think about:
- The continuous action of climbing up and down a ladder, in order to move it just a tiny amount can be very tedious. Its an essential part of staying safe though. Overreaching on a ladder could cost you your life.
- The majority fatalities resulting from falling off a ladder, did so by falling from 10 feet or less. We often start to feel more relaxed as we approach the bottom of a ladder, but guard against over confidence, as this is when you could be most at risk.
- Before even considering climbing a ladder, make sure you place it in a secure spot. Even if you don’t have to go up very high, any unevenness or wobbling is very dangerous.
- Do not put your ladders in unlocked doorways. You are not just risking yourself in this situation, but also anyone opening the door.
- It is not a good idea to skip rungs when ascending or descending the ladder. You could loose your balance and fall easily.
- If you come across a ladder that wasn’t personally secured by you, then do not use it until you have checked it yourself.
- Another bad idea can be to start using your ladder as some kind of shelving, or as a ramp.
Please make sure safety comes first while using your ladder this season.