More than 90,000 people are treated in emergency rooms every year due to ladder-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This statistic underscores the risks of ladder use and the importance of taking safety precautions seriously when using this common household equipment. With spring gutter cleaning season approaching, now is a good time to review the dos and don’ts of ladder usage.
How to Stay Safe While Using a Ladder
Keep these dos and don’ts in mind to ensure your safety while using a ladder to perform household maintenance:
- Do select the correct ladder for the job – one that extends at least three feet over the roofline or working surface and has the weight capacity to support you and your tools at the same time.
- Don’t place the ladder on a raised surface to extend its reach or stand on the top rung of the ladder to gain the necessary height. Both scenarios can result in serious injury.
- Do inspect a ladder before using it. A common factor in ladder accidents is poor condition due to age or neglect. Before using it, inspect the ladder for decay, cracks and loose parts and note the maximum load rating.
- Don’t use a damaged or broken ladder or make temporary or makeshift repairs. A damaged ladder should be repaired according to the manufacturer’s specifications and replaced as needed.
- Do use ladders properly. Always maintain three points of contact with a ladder and keep your body centered between the rails to maintain stability.
- Don’t take risks. Most often it’s the user – not the ladder – that causes ladder accidents. Never use a ladder in any way other than how the manufacturer specifies. Don’t attempt to reach farther than your arm can stretch while on the ladder. Instead, climb down, move the ladder to a better spot, then climb back up.
- Do place the ladder on firm, level ground. Use leg levelers (available at home improvement stores) under the legs of the ladder to level uneven ground or make soft ground more stable.
- Don’t place ladders on soft or slippery surfaces or put anything underneath them. Avoid placing a ladder in front of a door.
Never Clean Your Gutters Again!
With a Gutter Helmet® gutter protection system, you can eliminate the potential for serious injury and death when using a ladder to clean your gutters. Gutter Helmet is a patented system that prevents dirt and debris from settling in gutters, so you’ll never have to clean out your gutters again! Learn about gutter guard cleaning and find out more about our Gutter Helmet system by calling us today at (800) 824-3772 and get a free quote while you’re at it!
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