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Ladder Safety in the Holiday Season and All Year Long

The holiday season is upon us.  This is the time of the year when many ladder accidents occur.  Across the country, there are more than 164,000 emergency room visits and 300 deaths from ladder falls every year.  Haste, sudden movements, inattention, improper footwear, mental and physical conditions, and poor ladder condition can all lead to serious falls.  Please be safe this year creating your holiday display. 

It is important to remember that ladders are tools and, as with any tools, there are things to keep in mind to ensure that tool is used safely.

Things to Consider

Obviously, if you feel especially tired or dizzy or are prone to losing your balance, you should not even consider climbing a ladder.  Refrain from drinking and decorating, as alcohol impairs your balance and coordination greatly.  Save that eggnog for later.  As with all holiday festivities, never decorate alone.  If something goes wrong, it is important to have help close by.  Never let your kids climb the ladder, no matter how much they beg!

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Ladders also should never be used in windy conditions or when it is raining or snowing.  Always inspect your ladder to be sure it is in good, working condition and be sure to use the appropriate ladder for the job.  The “duty rating” of the ladder should be enough to support you, your tools, and any other objects that you will be placing on, or carrying up, the ladder (including the grinch).  Make sure you place your ladder on firm, level ground that is not slippery.  And never place your ladder in front of a closed door that might open.  

When climbing a ladder, it is safest to use the “Three Points of Contact” method.  This will minimize your chances of slipping and falling.  When a ladder is in use, you should always face forward and maintain three points of contact.  That means that either two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand are always in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails.  This prevents you from becoming unstable if one of those limbs slips.  Also, try to stay near the middle of the step to keep your load evenly distributed. Do not carry any objects that can interfere with a firm grip, otherwise the chance of falling increases dramatically.  

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Be safe this holiday season and if you notice that your gutters need attention while you are on the roof, contact Cincy Gutter Boys.