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Ladder Safety Tips
One of the many tools that home owners use regularly is a ladder. Whether you need to change the porch light bulb, clean the gutters or put something in the top of the closet. You may need a ladder to get the job done!
While ladders seem harmless enough and they are useful tools, accidents can still happen if you don't follow some simple safety tips. You may be shocked to hear that each year; more than 400,000 people are injured from a ladder accident and end up in the emergency room or doctor's office. Some injuries are as minor as cuts and scrapes while other injuries have resulted in broken bones or worse.
Below we are going to share some safety tips with you to ensure that you are properly using your ladder to get your chores done!
1. Before using the ladder, inspect it and make sure all the screws and side rails are in place. Stepping on to a ladder that isn't secure, can result in you taking a fall which is exactly what we want to avoid!
2. Check the bottom of the ladder to make sure there isn't any dirt, paint or liquid that has accumulated and will result in the ladder not being sturdy. For your safety, try to use ladders with non skid spurs - this helps the ladder to stay in place and prevent you from sliding.
3. Make sure to properly set up your ladder before climbing on. The ladder should be on a firm, level surface - never place a ladder on a surface that is uneven. Once you are certain the ladder is secure and level then make sure to lock the side rails to better secure the ladder.
4. Always position your ladder as close to the work area as you can. Do not overreach or stretch to the side, this could result in a fall if you lose your balance. It might take a little longer to finish your task if you keep getting off the ladder to reposition it but its best for your safety.
5. Never move the ladder with anything on top such as a hammer, paint can or the like. It won't feel too good to have a can of paint end up hitting you in the head - any objects for that matter!
6. Don't be lazy and pull out the step ladder if you will need the bigger ladder! Stretching and overreaching is one of the most common ways that people get hurt when using a ladder. With a bigger ladder you also have more bracing and you can lean up against it while working.
7. Most importantly always climb and descend the ladder facing it and holding on with both hands whenever possible. Also be sure to take one step at a time, if you miss a step that can end up with you falling from the ladder.
By following these few safety tips you will be able to avoid any unnecessary accidents or trips the emergency room. I know these tips sound like common sense but I see people make these simple mistakes daily for lack of thinking while working on something and trying to hurriedly finish.
Chuck Greene is an electrician with what some would call an odd love of laddders, especially the Little Giant Ladder brand. He writes an maintains the Ladder Fanatic website in his spare time - which features information about the Little Giant Ladders and testimonials for happy customers.
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