Safety Matters on Ladders – DIY Friends!July 18, 2022
Doing it yourself? Ladders are often involved. A couple of weeks ago, I took a break and spent time with family at an Irish Dance Competition. It was in Montreal, and 8 of us travelled by air to get together at this exciting event. Spirits were high. We were having fun.
The mood changed immediately when the news came that a good friend of two of us had just died in an accident with a ladder. I felt so sad for everyone concerned. I thought that if I had just had 10 minutes with this man, and he followed a few simple rules, he would be alive today. I felt more responsibility than I ever have. I will continue to shout out to Do It Yourself people about the vital facts on ladder safety.
Grief subsides a bit, but the message in my head has not. So here are the most basic rules of using an extension ladder.
- The main point is stability!
- The ladders two feet must be level. Dig out some soil to help with this or use wood shims.
- The ladder must be at a certain angle. There’s a simple way to get this right for a person of any height. Put your toes up to the feet of the ladder. Extend your arm and hand straight out. Move the ladder’s forward or back angle until your fingers touch the closest rung. This works for every adult! It will save the ladder from going over backward upon you as you fall and ensure that it will not slip away below you and have you fall on the ladder as it goes down. Legs between the rungs can get snapped and joints torn apart badly.
- Use standouts on the ladder, to prevent it from sliding to one side or the other. There are two or three types of standouts available at hardware stores, and they also prevent gutters from being kinked.
- Always keep three points of your body on the ladder. One hand and two feet, for example. Don’t carry so much stuff that you compromise the three-point stability.
- Do not shift your body weight much to the left or right, such as reaching out to do something.
- Watch out for winds and weather conditions.
- Be very aware of what is on the ground below you.
Of course, there are other points. Just Google ladder safety.
Step ladders are also dangerous. Ladder climbing is “high” on the “top ten” situations that cause seniors to end up in an Emergency Ward. A study has been published on this.
Make sure the step ladder is spread open completely. It’s good to have someone there to stabilize it.
Do not go to the top rung, or the very top part of the ladder. Get a different ladder for more height. Do not go on any ladder if you get dizzy spells.
Thanks for reading this, and please remember! Live long and prosper.