It is the time of year for families to celebrate the Holiday Season. One of the brightest features this time of year is Christmas Lights. Unfortunately, falls are an unwanted part of the season as well.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates the following holiday decoration-related emergency room-treated injuries nationwide during last year’s holiday season:
14,700 holiday decorating related ER-treated injuries
The most frequent holiday decorating incidents involved falls (41%), lacerations (10%) and back strains (5%)
3 deaths involving ladder falls
No matter what the job may be, ladder safety is important. Thousands of people are injured and hundreds killed every year while using ladders. The following are some safety tips to help you avoid a ladder related injury this holiday season.
Ladder Safety Tips
Be Conscious of the weather conditions. High winds can cause you to lose your balance while using a ladder. In addition, dew or light rain can cause your ladder to become slippery. Make sure you pick a calm and dry day before working from a ladder.
Always inspect your ladder before use. Before using your ladder, make sure it’s in good working order. Make sure all rungs, feet and safety locks are in place and fully functional.
Use the right ladder for the job. Different jobs require different types of ladders. If the only way you can get to your gutter to remove leaves or to hang lights is to step on the top step of a ladder, you need a longer ladder. If you plan on going on your roof, use an extension ladder that extends three feet above the roof edge.
Don’t stretch. Over-stretching on a ladder can cause shift resulting in a loss of balance and leave you hanging on the gutter or injured on the ground.
Be cautious near doors and walkways. If you’re working by a door that can open toward the ladder, let your family know you’re working there. If you need to use the ladder near the door or walkway, have another family member stand watch to keep other away.
Make calculated movements. Before making your next move, think about what you want to do and move slowly. Sudden movements can cause you to lose balance.
Setup the ladder on level ground. When the ladder is set-up for use, it must be placed on firm level ground and without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
Three Points of Contact. Using Three Points-of-Contact will help minimize the chances of slipping and falling from the ladder. During the ascent, descent, and while working, you 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. In this way, you are not likely to become unstable in the event one limb slips during the climb.
If you have any questions about ladder safety or ladder safety training, please contact us at (877) 871-4113 or Services@2ndResponder.com.
Source: American Ladder Institute