Ladder Safety

Ladder Safety
 

Last year Alfred Health released a study into ladder-related falls, which found a sharp increase in serious injury resulting from a ladder fall, particularly among the ‘baby-boomer’ generation.

Below are some tips to follow for safe ladder use. Note that if you are over 55 or inexperienced, that the recommendation is to hire a professional. So remember, I am your man when it comes to cleaning solar panels and gutters.

Follow these tips to remain as safe as possible when using a ladder ...

  • Avoid climbing a ladder if possible
  • If over 55 years of age, hire a professional
  • If inexperienced in ladder use, hire a professional

Ladder inspection

  • Do not use a ladder if timber steps are splintered or cracked, or if metal steps are twisted or warped
  • Check the ladder for any loose screws, hinges or rungs
  • Clean off any mud, grease, oil, or other slippery liquids that may have accumulated on the ladder
  • Do not make temporary repairs of broken or missing parts, as these may fail during climbing

Ladder set-up

  • Never place a ladder on uneven ground or flooring
  • Use the 4-to-1 rule: ensure that the ladder is 1 metre away from the wall at the base for every 4 metres that the ladder rises. The upper and lower sections of an extension ladder should overlap to provide stability
  • Do not place stepladders or single/extension ladders on boxes, countertops or unstable surfaces to gain additional height
  • Before using a stepladder, ensure that it is fully open and that the braces between the two sections are fully extended and locked
  • Ensure that the ladder is leaning against a stable structure, which cannot break or move away

Ladder safety

  • Wear a helmet when climbing a ladder
  • Ensure that shoes have slip-resistant soles
  • Maintain 3 points of contact on the ladder at all times ie. two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot
  • Do not over reach – descend and move the ladder if required
  • Leaning too far to one side, or reaching too far overhead can destabilise the ladder. Your umbilicus should not go beyond the sides of the ladder
  • Have someone stand at the base of the ladder to brace it and observe the climber
  • On a single or extension ladder, never stand above the third rung from the top and never climb above the point where the ladder touches the wall or vertical support
  • The highest standing level on a stepladder should be two steps down from the top
  • Do not stand on the top plate, side braces or back section of a step ladder
  • Do not overload the ladder. Use only light weight hand tools whilst standing on the ladder
  • Avoid using a ladder after drinking alcohol
  • Avoid using a ladder if prone to fainting, or are taking medications that predispose to dizziness

So beware of the ladder. It might seem like a simple job, but is it worth the risk? Remember if you are over 55 or inexperienced - hire a professional. We can help with cleaning your solar panels and cleaning your gutters.


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Phone David on 0409 483 645.

Article courtesy of Alfred Health