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Death by Ladder

Updated: Apr 10

Death by Ladder?

This is no April Fools joke, death by ladder happens every year in the US and the most common ladder falls are from ladder less than 10 feet high. March was National Ladder Safety month and Fi Home Services is excited to help you celebrate with some additional knowledge.

Inspect to Protect Yourself 

Knowing the parts of a ladder is helpful because the first part of ladder safety is inspecting the ladder you will be climbing.  Look for fractures, missing parts, obstructions in rung bracing, etc.

A 3D ladder with parts illustrated for ladder safety
Don’t take this step for granted!

Safety First: Placing Your Ladder

  1. Surface Assessment: Before climbing, examine the surface where you’ll be placing your ladder. It should be level, stable, and within reach of a support. Avoid using windows as support points because glass is easily breakable.

  2. Ladder Width and Rungs: Ensure your ladder is opened to the appropriate width for the locks to engage. Also, consider the height of the ladder rungs in relation to how far you need to reach. Don’t climb beyond the cautionary labels on the ladder.

Self-Check: Are You Ready?

  1. Physical Readiness: Start with your toes—ensure your feet are in good shoes that provide a solid grip on the rungs. Check the weight limits for the ladder to ensure you and your load don’t exceed the limit.

  2. Mental Preparedness: Ask yourself if you’re in the right frame of mind to climb a ladder. If you’ve had issues with vertigo, head trauma, heart problems, or other health concerns, seek medical advice before climbing.

Additional Tips for Safe Ladder Use

  • Electrical Hazards: Be mindful of overhead powerlines—ignoring them can put you at risk of electrocution.

  • No Leaning: While on the ladder, avoid leaning. Keep your hands, feet, and body in a safe position to prevent falls.

  • Climb Slowly: Take your time when ascending the ladder.

  • Buddy System: It’s always a best practice to have another person nearby in case of emergencies.

Ladder Falls: No Laughing Matter

Whether at home or on a construction site, ladder falls are serious. Human error remains the leading cause of ladder accidents. Taking ladder safety seriously and following manufacturer guidelines will help you avoid potential problems and ensure you reach your full potential.

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