Ladders are necessary equipment for many jobs, but unfortunately, they can also be very dangerous. Ladder danger exists in a variety of occupations, but it’s also something that many homeowners face when trying to tackle various home improvement projects. Improper use can lead to serious injuries, so it’s very important to follow these ladder safety basics before you climb up.
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If you do find yourself on a ladder, be sure to employ the following safety measures:
The first step is to make sure that the ladder is in good working condition. Check it over visually to see if there’s any damage to any part of it. If everything appears to be in good shape, then you can proceed to set it into position. A ladder must be set up on level ground in order to be safe. Make sure that you have a flat, stable surface that can support your weight. Placing it on soft ground, such as loose soil, stones, sand, or other uneven surfaces increases the chances of it becoming unstable.
Getting Into Position
Once you have the ladder secured on level ground, you can then prepare to climb up and get to work. You always want to have either both feet and one hand, or both hands and one foot on the ladder at the same time. Stay centered in the middle of the rungs as you ascend, slowly and cautiously. Never climb up the rungs backwards, and don’t try to carry heavy tools or other equipment up with you as you go. Always maintain a forward facing position as you’re going up and coming down.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Don’t use a metal ladder near exposed electrical equipment or power lines. If you can have someone spot you by remaining at the bottom of the ladder, it’s a good idea to do so. For ladders that have locks or extensions, make sure that those are engaged and secured.
Falls from ladders are a common cause of injuries. Proper use can prevent you from having an accident on a ladder, so be sure to keep these important safety tips in mind the next time you’re ready to use one.