Here are some ladder safety tips to keep you safe while working from a ladder this year. Did you know that 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. result from falls off a ladder? In the last decade, 43% of all fatal falls occurred while using a ladder, according to the CDC. Most ladder deaths take place from falls of ten feet or less. These ladder safety tips give you confidence while working from a ladder this year.
Choose a ladder that’s sound and in good working order. Sure, that old wooden painter’s ladder you have behind the garage makes you feel nostalgic, but it’s probably better off being burnt. Working high up is serious business. Ensuring that you have the proper ladder, feet, rung locks, and pulleys makes a huge difference. The ladder needs two feet with rubber cushions for hard surfaces, and the ability for the feet to be turned forward when working from grass or dirt. Rung locks keep the ladder from extending up or down while you are on it, and the pulley allows for extension or retraction with little effort. Again, you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation if any of these parts are not working properly.
Utilizing the 4:1 rule when using an extension ladder is also a good practice according to This Old House. This means, that for every four feet the ladder goes up, move it a foot away from the structure you are working on. So, if the ladder is extended twelve feet up the side of the house, position it at the base three feet away from it. Following this simple rule will give you the most optimal climbing position, and it will disperse your weight on the ladder evenly. Remember to also bungee your ladder at the top if you are getting off and on it. Just think about a windy day. A falling ladder can injure you or cause expensive damage to property.
If possible, always work with a partner. Having them spot the ladder at the base is even better. Fireman call this technique, “barking the dogs.” Have a helper hold the base of the ladder to avoid it kicking out while you are on it. If you can’t utilize a spotter, at least be in voice range in case of a fall. Unfortunately, working with a partner isn’t possible. At a bare minimum keep your cell phone in your pocket. It does not matter if you work by yourself or with a partner, always respect ladders. Always be completely aware of your surroundings. Look for power lines, slippery surfaces, objects that could fall, etc.
If you are not comfortable, do not work from a ladder. Leave it to the pros who do so every day and have the confidence and technique to do the job safely. The Gutter Boys Co. services thousands of homes in Northeast Ohio and has a fantastic safety record. Our team utilizes ongoing training and up-to-date equipment to keep everyone safe. Even we abide by these ladder safety tips. So stay off that ladder and give us a call for a free, instant quote for service 440-454-7040.