More than 90,000 people go to the emergency room every year because they fell off a ladder, and more than 80 percent of construction workers fall off a ladder on the job according to reports from U.S. Product Safety Commission reports. Ladders are convenient and necessary to get a lot of jobs around your home done, but when used improperly, they’re also dangerous.
Before you pull out a ladder to clean the gutters or paint around your home, make sure you know and follow these safety tips.
- Read the label of your new ladder. Manufacturers put all the information you need to know about how to properly use your ladder on the labels and stickers, including safety information.
- Maintain three points of contact at all time while on the ladder. This can be two hands and one foot or both feet and one hand. Anything else can unbalance you and increase your chances of falling.
- Don’t use a ladder that’s too short. Your ladder should extend three feet or three rungs above where you want to reach whether that’s the roof of your house or a platform.
- Never stand higher than three rungs from the top. You increase the chances of losing your balance and falling when you step higher than that level.
- Position yourself in the middle of the step and only paint, clean, or work as far as you can reach without leaning. When cleaning gutters or painting walls, most people avoid going up and down the ladder to move it a few feet at a time and just lean over.
- Never use your ladder as a bridge, scaffold, or shelf.
- Make sure your ladder has a firm, level surface to rest on. Uneven or rocky ground makes the ladder less stable and can cause a fall. If the ground is too soft or uneven, place a board under your ladder.
- Open your ladder completely before stepping up. This is very common in step ladders and can keep you off-balance, causing you to fall.
- Wear slip resistant shoes.
- Don’t place the ladder on top of anything other than the ground. It shouldn’t be placed on top of a table, another ladder, chair, or anything else.
- Don’t carry your tools while climbing the ladder. Use a tool belt or have a helper hand items up to you, as long as you don’t have to lean down to grab them.
- When you’re working with multiple tools or higher than a few feet, have someone hold your ladder steady and spot you from the ground.
Ladders are necessary tools for doing jobs around your home. Make sure you have the right ladder for the height you need to reach. While an eighteen foot ladder is common for many households, most single story homes need a 24 foot ladder to safely reach the roof. Using a short ladder and not following basic safety guidelines can lead to injury and accidents.
Want to protect yourself and your home in other ways? Make sure you have the right home insurance policy. If you haven’t thought about your policy limits since you bought your home, it’s time for a quick review. The cost to rebuild a home has gone up over the past few years, and your home insurance policy needs to keep up with those increases.
Contact Charlotte Insurance today. We can review your current home insurance policy to make sure you’re covered or get you a free estimate for a new policy that fits your home and your life today, not a decade ago.