Every year more than 100 workers are fatally injured in ladder-related accidents with thousands more suffering from disabling injuries. Remember whether you are at work or at home, keeping safety at the top of your list can help avoid serious injuries.
In recognition of National Ladder Safety Month, here are some tips for safer ladder use.
- Inspect a ladder before use - Check for broken rungs or rails. When using an extension ladder, check the pulleys, ropes and locks for signs of excessive wear. And remember to check the footings to make sure they still have a non-stick surface.
- Remember the four to one rule for extension ladders - For every four feet of height you are climbing, move the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall.
- Reach three feet beyond - The ladder should reach at least three feet beyond the point of support and should be secured.
- Follow the three-point rule - Make sure to have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.
- Face forward - When moving up and down the ladder always face the ladder. And always have both hands free to grasp it securely. Tools should be carried in a tool belt.
- Stay balanced - Don't overreach! Keep your body between the side rails of the ladder. This helps reduce the chance of tipping the ladder over or falling off.
- Remember your stopping point - When using a straight or extension ladder, don't climb higher than the third rung from the top. For stepladders, the second tread from the top should be your stopping point.
To learn more about ladder safety, please visit the National Ladder Safety Month website.