With the weather cooling down quickly, now is the time to get your fall home maintenance done. Things like washing windows, cleaning gutters, picking apples and hanging Christmas lights may involve the use of a ladder. It is important to keep these tips in mind to stay safe when using a ladder and to prevent injury this fall season.
Ladder Safety Rules
Did you know that Caspers Chiropractic in Shakopee & Hutchinson helps many people each year with back and neck issues related to improper use of a ladder? We want you to take the correct care and precautions before getting out there this fall. Always pay attention to your health and don’t climb a ladder if you have breathing, heart, knee, back or other health issues that may be affected. If you feel dizzy, tired or have balance issues, do not attempt to climb a ladder. Always plan ahead for what you will need. Wearing proper shoes that are tightly secured and have clean, slip-resistant bottoms are the best option when climbing a ladder. A tool belt is also important if you need to carry or retrieve any tools/items so that you can try to always keep three-point-of-contact climbing to reduce falls.
6 SAFETY RULES
- Use a ladder that is the correct length and size for you and your task. You don’t want to have to reach far above your head or lean to either side. Never step on the top rung and only allow one person on the ladder at a time.
- Inspect your ladder carefully for cracks, bends or broken pieces before using it. Finding those issues while using a ladder could be hazardous.
- Transport the ladder carefully and ask for assistance when trying to move a large or heavy ladder.
- Make sure the ladder is set on a reliable, non-slippery surface. Try to make sure it is as level as possible and secure before stepping onto the ladder.
- Install the ladder correctly. It should be at a 75 degree angle for the safest climb. The rule of thumb is that the ladder base should be positioned one foot away from the wall for every four feet of climb needed. Example: the ladder base should be 5 feet from a wall to make a 20 foot climb.
- Secure the ladder at the top if you are able. Make sure the top is firmly supported on or against a solid surface before attempting to climb. Also make sure the ladder is never placed in front of a door that can open toward the ladder.
It is important to take your time when using a ladder. Plan ahead for what you are wearing, what you need for tools or supplies, what obstacles may be above or in the way (such as power lines, wires or doors), and always inspect the ladder before using it. Climb facing the ladder in the center of the ladder on your way up and down.
Preparing for winter now before it gets too cold is a great choice. If you have any issues with your back, shoulder or neck after doing your fall cleanup and maintenance, give us a call at 320-587-2292 (Hutch), 952-977-9933 (Shakopee) or make an appointment online.