This winter, whether you’re clearing snow or ice from roofs or gutters, removing broken tree limbs or even taking down exterior holiday lights, be cautious with your ladder. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that each year in the United States, approximately 164,000 emergency room visits are attributed to ladder-related injuries.
To help ensure you’re not among the injured this year, pay attention to the following ladder safety tips, courtesy of the CPSC:
- “Make sure the weight your ladder is supporting does not exceed its maximum load rating (user plus materials). There should only be one person on the ladder at one time.
- Use a ladder that is the proper length for the job. Proper length is a minimum of 3 feet extending over the roofline or working surface. The three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder should not be stood on.
- Straight, single or extension ladders should be set up at about a 75-degree angle.
- All metal ladders should have slip-resistant feet.
- Metal ladders will conduct electricity. Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder in the vicinity of power lines or electrical equipment. Do not let a ladder made from any material contact live electric wires.
- Be sure all locks on extension ladders are properly engaged.
- The ground under the ladder should be level and firm. Large flat wooden boards braced under the ladder can level a ladder on uneven ground or soft ground. A good practice is to have a helper hold the bottom of the ladder.
- Do not place a ladder in front of a door that is not locked, blocked or guarded.
- Keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times. Do not lean too far to the side while working.
- Do not use a ladder for any purpose other than that for which it was intended.
- Do not step on the top step, bucket shelf or attempt to climb or stand on the rear section of a stepladder.
- Never leave a raised ladder unattended.
- Follow use instruction labels on ladders.”
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- Bunk bed safety tips for homeowners
- Preventing furniture and large appliance “tip-over” injuries
- Winter safety tips for portable generators
For information about your legal rights, please click here or call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-753-4272.