Archive for Sunday, December 29, 2002

Check your ladder before taking down decorations

December 29, 2002


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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