ORLANDO, Fla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--It’s no surprise that falls, particularly from ladders, account for most on-the-job injuries. But falls don’t only happen at work. In the U.S., over 500,000 people are treated every year for ladder-related injuries at an estimated cost of $11 billion, as noted by the CDC.
As we gear up for the holiday season, attics are opening, lights are being strung and rooftops are becoming adorned with snowmen and an occasional jolly man. Falls from ladders can happen anywhere, anytime and to the most cautious user. Avoid injuries with 5 basic safety tips.
1. Check Your Equipment.
Before beginning, check your equipment - including recommended usage and instruction labels for weight and height requirements. Ensure you’re on level ground and that the ladder is operating correctly. Note the highest step and make sure it is high enough so you aren’t tempted to use the top step, which should be avoided.
2. Review Your Surroundings.
Clear your working area of clutter, including decorations, tools or other materials. When inside, set up the ladder away from doors or hazards that could cause a fall. If you’re using your ladder outside, check local reports for weather or wind.
3. Trust in Teamwork.
Sure, you could move heavy boxes or hang 50 feet of lights alone, but why not ask for help? Make sure only one person uses the ladder at a time and have a spotter at the bottom of the ladder to hold your position and ensure you’re level. Keep the top of your ladder clear of unattended tools and have your spotter hand up equipment.
4. Keep Calm. And Still.
Anytime you’re working on a ladder, be aware of your movements and body position. Don’t use your body weight to shift a ladder when on it. It may take more time, but face the ladder and climb down, and always reposition from the ground. Maintain a 3-point contact (hold on with one hand and both feet secure) for balance and remember not to lean too far or reach too high.
5. Enjoy Your Work!
When done, put away your ladder first before other tools. Then sit back, relax and toast your hard work with a glass of eggnog!