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How to Not Get Injured When Using Ladders

October 23, 2012

If you manually work on repairs and home exterior cleaning, one of your most essential tools is the ladder.  There are actually several different types of ladders you can use at home, such as step ladders, metal ladders, straight ladders, and extension ladders. The important thing in determining which ladder to use is what you need to use it for. Keep in mind that while a ladder may be very beneficial to cleaning and reaching higher areas of the house, it can also be risky, especially if you don’t know how to use it properly.

Ladder injuries are quite common and are often a result of mishandling the ladder.  To reduce risk of injury, here are some safety tips you can follow when using your ladder at home:

Check your ladder before using it. There may be rungs that are already missing or cracks that have formed. If you climb an unsecured ladder, it can easily break and cause you to fall down. It helps to take a few minutes to check the entire ladder before you use it.

  • Secure your ladder at the base. Have someone hold the base for you or place it where the entire weight can be secured at the base. This will balance your weight.
  • Use a ladder with the appropriate height. It would be very difficult to clean your gutters if the rungs of your ladder were blocking your way. The right height will not only keep you in place, but will also make your job easier.
  • Read the manual. Not all ladders are the same and they vary in terms of maximum weight and height. Know these specifications so you can ensure you are using the right ladder. Make sure that your weight falls within the specified limit.
  • Face the ladder when climbing up and down. This will give you support when moving around the ladder.
  • Wear shoes that are non-skip to avoid slipping when climbing up and down. Also, if your hands are usually slippery, try to wear working gloves to add resistance when holding on to each rung.
  • Work only within convenient reach when using a ladder. If you need to reach a farther area, go down the ladder, move it to where you need to reach. and climb up. Don’t move the ladder while you are up there.

Chris George
Oklahoma City Realtor


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