Ladder Safety Rules for Working at Heights at Home:
Replacing lightbulbs and repairing your roof should not be such a safety risk, but it is. Approximately 40% of injuries are from working at heights. Before using your ladder at home, take the necessary precautions to ensure step ladder safety. So, here are a few essential home safety ladder tips to ensure you’re not part of the statistics!
Some common mistakes to avoid
Using the incorrect ladder
Working on uneven or slick ground
Standing on the top rung
Lack of 3-point contact
Using the incorrect ladder:
To work at heights, you need the appropriate apparatus. There are many types of ladders, and they each serve a specific purpose. You have to use a ladder that corresponds with the environment you are working in or the task you will perform. You would not use an industrial ladder A-frame ladder to grab a jar of peanut butter from your top shelf; it is better to use a step-ladder. You always need to consider the project, the environment, and the weight of the items you will be carrying while on the ladder. In this example, you have to make sure the ladder you are using is suitable for working indoors and is the appropriate height. Choosing a ladder that is not the correct height leads to dangerous habits like standing on your tiptoes, which increases the chances of a tumble.
A big mistake people make is not positioning their ladders correctly. This mistake leads to overreaching. While tempting, it is unsafe to reach beyond the ladder’s rails. Overreaching can shift the ladder and send you tumbling down! When on a ladder, always make sure your belt buckle is between the rails. If you cannot reach your work area comfortably from this position, climb down and reposition your ladder to maintain ladder safety. DO NOT REACH!
Working on uneven or slick ground:
This one may seem obvious, but you should ensure your ladder is on an even surface. Your ladder should not rock or wiggle; it should be firmly planted on the ground. Placing your ladder on slick surfaces like plastic sheeting or icy ground could make the ladder base move as you shift your weight, and this could lead to the ladder sliding out from under you. To ensure ladder safety, make sure to set your ladder up on even, solid, non-slip surfaces that allow the feet of the ladder to be firmly on the ground.
Standing on the top rung:
If you need to stand on the top rung of your ladder, it is not the correct height. Using the top rung makes the ladder unstable and increases the chance of falling. A general rule of thumb is to avoid standing on the highest platform of the ladder or the two rungs below it to maintain stability. If you cannot reach your work area without doing so, you need to find a taller ladder.
Lack of 3-point contact:
The 3-point contact rule is simple; ALWAYS have three limbs on the ladder at all times. For example, you need to have both hands and one foot on the ladder while working or both feet and one hand. This rule mitigates the risk of falling off the ladder.
Injury and death are easily preventable with the correct home safety habits. You ensure your safety while working at home by following these simple rules. Stay safe and happy fixing!