Using a Ladder at Home? Practice Simple Safety Tips | RISMedia, RISMedia
Friday, November 08, 2019
Whether you’re cleaning the gutters or hanging holiday decorations, it’s important to keep safety front and center when using ladders at home. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2018, more than 493,500 ladder-related injuries were treated in emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics. To help prevent ladder injuries, orthopaedic surgeons at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) provide the following safety tips:
When cleaning gutters or hanging wreaths, choose the correct ladder.
– Use a ladder of proper length to reach the working height that you need. Inside a home, that may mean a low stepladder. For outside chores, you may need a taller stepladder.
– Use a ladder according to use and “working load”—the amount of weight the ladder can hold, including yourself and any tools or decorations.
– Do not stand higher than two steps down from the top. On an extension ladder, do not stand above the third rung.
– Shift the ladder as needed during the task to avoid the need to overreach. Leaning too far to one side, and reaching too far overhead, can make you lose your balance and fall. Your belly button should not go beyond the sides of the ladder.
Inspect the ladder before using it.
– Check the ladder for any loose screws, hinges or rungs and ensure there are no broken or bent pieces. Clean off any mud, grease, oil, snow or other slippery liquids that might have accumulated on the ladder.
– Do not make a temporary repair of broken or missing parts, because these repairs could fail while you are high off the ground.
Ensure the ladder is properly set up.
– Take time to stage the ladder properly on even ground, staying away from electrical wires, tree limbs or any other obstructions.
– Confirm that the stepladder is fully open and that the spreaders or braces between the two sections are fully extended and locked.
– Make sure the soles of your shoes are not slippery, and always wear closed-toed shoes, rather than sandals or flip-flops.
– Face the ladder while climbing and stay in the center of the rails. Grip both rails securely while climbing.
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