Due to recent events, I thought it would be a good time to remind you about ladder safety.
Perhaps the lights are still up, but soon you will have to take them down, and the weather may not be cooperative. A friend of mine related the story of a relative that fell from a ladder while hanging Christmas decorations. Two shattered ankles later, the person is now unable to work. .
The University of Missouri estimates that 300 people die and 130,000 more are injured using ladders each year.
To be safe, read and follow all the labeled instructions and warnings attached to the ladder you choose. I am including some additional warnings and safety tips I have researched over the years:
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Inspect the ladder before each use. A damaged side rail could cause the ladder to fail, or a damaged rung could result in a fall. Make sure all locking mechanisms are working properly.
A ladder’s feet should be set against a solid level surface at an angle of four feet in one foot. For every four feet of ladder height, the base should be no more than one foot from the surface it is leaning against. An extension ladder used to access a roof must extend at least three feet above the roof. When climbing, always face the ladder, and use both hands on the rungs, not the side rails.
Use a ladder with nonskid feet or spurs to prevent the ladder from slipping on a hard smooth surface. Secure the base of the ladder by driving stakes and tying the ladder to them, or by blocking the base against movement. A helper stationed under the ladder can also prevent movement.
Do not stand on the top three rungs of a ladder, and never stand on top of a stepladder. When high up on an extension ladder, do not lean too far to either side, which could cause the ladder to move sideways. Do not use a ladder in a strong wind or over an unlocked entry door.