5 Rules Of Ladder Safety

Some of you homeowners are still working on spring cleaning, some of you are getting ready for the upcoming holidays, and some of you are getting your home ready to sell. No matter what you’re working on this year, it’s important to practice ladder safety.  According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reports, there are 164,000 ladder injuries each year. The number of incidents rises around the holiday season each year, but no matter what time of year it is, and no matter what you’re working on (cleaning gutters, washing windows, changing light bulbs, etc.) it’s important for you and your family to be safe when working on ladders. Here are some safety tips from Werner, one of the world’s leading ladder manufacturers to help keep you safe this year!

It’s very important to choose the right ladder for the job. If you’re trying to replace a light fixture on the ceiling, maybe you only need a 6-foot step ladder; if you’re cleaning out second floor gutters, you will need an extension ladder or a specialty ladder that bends to a 90-degree angle to get at a hard-to-reach place in a stairwell, according to Inman News. Ladder manufacturers make different styles of ladders so that, no matter what job you’re doing, the ladder you’re working on will keep you stable and productive (climbing or standing). Choosing the wrong ladder for the job could easily end in a trip to the emergency room, so make the right choice!

The length of the ladder you choose depends on the height of the job you’re doing. One important guideline for ladder safety is to never stand above the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder or the third rung from the top of a stepladder. So, the ladder you’re using for the job needs to extend a certain distance beyond the area you’re working on; experts advise that “if using a stepladder to get on a roof, the ladder must extend 3 feet beyond the roofline. If an extension ladder is leaned against a gutter or roof line, it must extend 1 foot above the roofline.”

Use common sense when working on a ladder. It seems like pretty simple advice, but the truth is that many of the ladder injuries reported each year were preventable. Make sure you’re using your ladder the way it should be used.

  • Ladders should be set up on a firm foundation.

  • Tennis shoes or other shoes with non-slip soles are the best to wear when working on ladders.

  • Your body should be centered on the ladder and be sure to keep your waist between the rails while maintaining a firm grip on the ladder.

  • Don’t over reach or lean to one side.

  • Climb and descend facing the ladder by moving one step at a time and firmly setting one foot before moving the other.

  • If you need to move a ladder, climb down before repositioning it

  • For high work, have one person hold the ladder at the bottom while the other one performs the task.

To read the full article on ladder safety from Inman News, click here.

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