Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ladder Safety: Tips That Can Save Your Life

Fall is the time of year when your thoughts turn to yard and home maintenance in preparation for the upcoming rainy and snowy season.  These preparations could include window washing, roof repairs, tree trimming or cleaning your gutters.  What do all these have in common?  Most require climbing a ladder!

There are a lot of statistics around injuries and fatalities from falling off a ladder, but let's just suffice it to say that even one injury or fatality is one too many!  Accidents happen so it's important to exercise good judgment and practice ladder safety if you plan to do any jobs involving a ladder. Here are a few ladder safety tips developed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:

1.  Inspect the ladder prior to use.  Check for any loose screws, hinges or rungs that might not have been fixed since its last usage.  And, make sure the rungs of the ladder do not have any liquid on them that could cause them to be slippery.
2.  Properly set up the ladder.  Ensure that your ladder is placed on a firm, level surface prior to climbing.  Never place a ladder on uneven ground.  Make sure the ladder is locked before climbing.
3.  Remember the 1-to-4 rule.  The bottom of the ladder should be one foot away from the wall for every four feet the ladder rises.  And, if you are going to climb on the roof, make sure your ladder extends three feet above the roof line.
4.  Select the right ladder for the job.  If you are going to be working at low to medium heights, a step ladder or utility ladder is probably your best bet.  If you will be climbing to higher places such as the roof, an extension ladder is the ladder you want to use.
5.  Don't lean too far over to reach something when on the ladder.  Your belly button should not extend past the side rails of the ladder!  Over-reaching or leaning could cause you to lose your balance and fall.

If your cleaning or maintenance preparation includes gutter cleaning, you don't have to get up on a ladder at all! Invest in gutter protection such as Gutter Topper® from Gutter Covers International and you won't have to worry about cleaning out your gutters!  Have a worry-free and safe Fall season instead.  For more information regarding Gutter Topper® or our line of other gutter protection products, visit our website at