Whether cleaning, hanging pictures or inspecting a roof, ladder safety is important to acknowledge.
According to the World Health Organization, the United States leads the world in ladder deaths. Each year in the U.S., there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths caused by falls from ladders. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less.
Help ensure ladder safety by sharing these tips:
Basic Ladder Safety Tips
Before stepping onto a ladder, read the safety information labels and ensure it is in good condition. Never use ladders if they are missing parts or sway. Also inspect the Duty Rating of the ladder. It must be greater than the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies and other objects placed upon the ladder.
Once the ladder has been properly inspected:
- Check the weather. Do not use ladders in high winds or storms.
- Place the ladder on firm, level ground.
- Ensure the length of the ladder is high enough to avoid standing on the top rung or step.
- Wear clean slip-resistant shoes.
- Avoid carrying any objects that can interfere with a firm grip on the ladder.
Use the Three Point-of-Contact Method
The American Ladder Institute recommends the three point-of-contact method when climbing a ladder to minimize the chances of slipping and falling.
At all times while using a ladder, the climber must have three points of contact with the ladder. That can be two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand touching the steps, rungs or side rails.
While ladder safety is important for everyone to be aware of, it is always a good idea to hire a professional for technical work like roof repairs or tree limb removal.