Ladder Safety 101
Written by Denise McKee, Safety Coordinator by day and Freelance Writer by night! Email Denise at Denise.McKee@HireWritings.com
With the weather warming up, home projects are on everyone’s mind. The gutters need to be cleaned out. The roof needs to be patched. The shutters need a new coat of paint.
Whatever the project, safety needs to be the first thing on your mind and that includes ladder safety.
The gutters need to be cleaned out. The roof needs to be patched. The shutters need a new coat of paint. Whatever the project, safety needs to be the first thing on your mind and that includes ladder safety.
Here are 6 things to keep in mind when using a ladder:
1. Is the ladder the right size for the job? If the ladder is too short, do not prop it up on an object to reach. Also, the ladder needs to be strong enough to handle the weight put on it. When determining, you need to consider your weight, the weight of your clothing, protective gear, and the weight of the tools you will be using.
2. Be sure the ladder is level and firmly placed. Make sure the ladder is not on loose debris or uneven concrete that could cause it to wobble or tip over while you are on it. Better yet, if you can get a helper, have them hold and secure the ladder while you climb up and down.
3. Use three points of contact when climbing the ladder. Either have two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand at all time on the ladder. It keeps you secure and less likely to fall.
4. Don’t overreach while on the ladder. This goes without saying how dangerous this can be. Take the time to move the ladder into position if you are unable to complete the job at your current location.
5. Pay attention to every step, including the last one! Missing the last step of the ladder when climbing down is one of the more common reasons for injury. This has happened to all of us at one time and gravity is not forgiving. Always face forward when climbing down and pay attention. Even that small fall can cause serious injuries.
6. Inspect the ladder before use. Make sure that all screws are tight, the steps are clear of oils or grease and none of the steps are cracked or broken. If maintenance has been administered regularly, you shouldn’t find anything. If you do, do not use the ladder.
Many people are injured yearly, sometimes fatally, due to lack of safe ladder usage. Don’t be one of them!
Remember that most ladder injuries are preventable!
Thank you, Denise! This article is so timely as I myself have just been thinking about cleaning out my gutters!
Readers, please share your comments about ladder safety!
Personally, I knew a neighbor who took a terrible fall from a ladder and ended up with both rotator cuffs torn.
I’ll bet everyone has a ladder story!