Safety tips for using a ladder in the winter time
My favorite Winter scene is a neighborhood full of houses that are lit up by Christmas lights. This season offers the opportunity to make your house unique and stand out by decorating. If not properly done, you can injure yourself. Each year, more than half a million people are treated in hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices because of injuries sustained while improperly using a ladder.
Here are some safety tips to help protect you and whoever helps you decorate your house this holiday season:
Use the correct ladder – The ladder should be a proper length to safely reach the height you need to complete your work. Make sure you acquire a ladder that can handle your weight plus whatever load you may be carrying up the ladder. Each ladder is rated and the rating is used to determine the maximum weight that it can support.
Inspect the ladder – Before you get on the ladder, check it out for damage. Some parts may be broken or bent, which creates a safety problem. The ladder should also be properly inspected for slippery substances such as grease, mud, oil, ice or snow. A slippery surface can instantly create a safety hazard.
Setting up the ladder – Steer clear of setting up a ladder near hazards such as tree limbs and power lines. Proper setup of a ladder requires the bottom of the ladder to be one foot away from the wall for every four feet extended vertically (example: if the ladder extends 20 feet in the air, it should be five feet away from the wall). If you are using the ladder to get onto the roof, the ladder should extend at least three feet higher than the roof.
Using the ladder – Make sure the ladder is secure at the bottom and on a flat surface and make sure the top of the ladder is on a secure surface. Try to avoid having snow or other slippery surfaces on the soles of your shoes before climbing. Also, be wary of untied shoelaces or pant legs that are too long.
Climbing the ladder – Face the ladder and stay in the middle of the rails at all times. Always have a tight grip on the sides of the ladder while climbing. Do not lean to either side of the ladder. Only one person should be climbing the ladder at a time.
Other tips: keep large pets such as dogs inside or on a rope far away from the ladder. Do not use a ladder in the wind. Do not drink before or while climbing the ladder. Avoid using medication that makes you drowsy before climbing on the ladder. Never climb above the third rail from the top of a ladder.
All of these tips should keep you safe while hanging up lights this holiday season. However, if you feel uneasy about being able to do this by yourself, contact a professional at Adamstree Roofing and Construction and we can help you hang your lights or perform any work on your roof.
Avoid getting in a situation like this: