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A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report on ladder safety showed some startling statistics. More than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment from ladder-related injuries every year.
Don’t be a part of the statistics. Here are some safety tips from the National Safety Institute:
It is unsafe to use a ladder that is too long or too short. When using a Step Ladder, standing on the top cap or the step below the top cap is not permitted due to the increased likelihood of losing your balance. When using an Extension Ladder, the top three rungs are not to be used for climbing. An Extension Ladder is too long if the ladder extends more than three (3) feet beyond the upper support point.
Factors contributing to falls from ladders include haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, the condition of the ladder (worn or damaged), the user’s age or physical condition, or both, and the user’s footwear.
Reduce your chances of falling during the climb by:
- cleaning the soles of shoes to maximize traction
- climbing slowly and deliberately while avoiding sudden movements;
- never attempting to move a ladder while standing on it;
- Do not overreach or lean while working so that you don’t fall off the ladder sideways or pull the ladder over sideways while standing on it.
When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize Three Points-of-Contact because it minimizes the chances of slipping and falling from the ladder. At all times during ascent, descent, and working, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails. It is important to note that the climber must not carry any objects in either hand that can interfere with a firm grip on the ladder.