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Archive for Sunday, December 29, 2002

Check your ladder before taking down decorations

December 29, 2002

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Lots of people will be climbing ladders to take down decorations or do winter maintenance, so now is a good time for a few reminders on ladder safety from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:

  • Inspect the ladder for loose screws, hinges or rungs. Clean off mud or other matter that has accumulated on the ladder.
  • Set up the ladder on a firm, level, slip-free surface. If you're working outside, make sure the ladder won't hit electrical wires, tree limbs or other obstructions when it's extended.
  • Remember the 1-to-4 rule: The bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the wall for every 4 feet the ladder rises.
  • If you're climbing onto a roof, the ladder should extend at least 3 feet higher than the roof.
  • Never sit on the ladder's top or pail shelf.
  • Move materials with caution when you're on the ladder, so you don't lose your balance.
  • Always reposition the ladder closer to the work so you don't have to reach or lean. Your navel shouldn't go beyond the sides of the ladder.
  • Wear proper, nonslip footwear. Make sure the laces are tied and the soles are free of greasy, oily or wet substances. Pant legs shouldn't be too wide or too long.
  • Stay in the center of the ladder as you climb, and hold the side rails with both hands. If necessary, ask someone to hold the ladder while you climb.

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