1. Good ladders are stable and reduce the risk of an accident.
2. Ladders will go through wear and tear and you need to replace them right away once they are unusable.
3. Ladder accidents cause thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths per year.
While it may be exciting to get the best electrical tools and equipment to do your own DIY repairs and renovation, you may want to consider investing in a good ladder first. You’ll never know which projects will take you to great heights; and by not having a stable ladder to get you to those places is actually just as dangerous as not safely using your electrical tools and equipment.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of people are injured due to ladder accidents, while hundreds are killed. Here are a few more startling statistics that will get you thinking:
– 90,000 people are being rushed to the emergency room every year because of a ladder accident.
– Elevated falls kill 700 people on the job every year; 15% of those are occupational deaths.
– 50% of all ladder accidents happen due to carrying items while climbing a ladder.
– The rate of ladder injuries increases annually; 50% over the last 10 years.
– 32% of ladder injuries lead to fractures.
Much like using any tool, such as an electrical tool or equipment, knowledge is safety. Generally, all ladder accidents can be prevented with correct training as to how to properly climb one and how to properly transport equipment on one.
As mentioned above, there are numerous ladder-related incident happening each year; the most common causes are the following:
Sometimes it’s not a matter of not having a good ladder, but more about not having the right one for the job. Consider the weight capacity of a ladder; if you go over its weight limit while using the tool, then it may break mid-climb. Also, think of the height. If it’s too short for a certain task, then don’t use it or try to extend its reach in any way.
Like a lot of things, ladders have a shelf life. After years of use, one will become obsolete. The stress of being repeatedly used and supporting heavy weights will cause it to break down and become unsuitable for use. Forcing to use these can cause many unpredictable accidents to happen because the inevitability of it breaking. Thus, you must always inspect a ladder before using it. Don’t use it if there’s any damage. Instead, have it repaired or replaced.
The most common reason for ladder accidents is misuse. Often times, people just think that you simply prop up a ladder and start climbing. This is not the proper way to use it. These are designed to be used in the way the manufacturer intended it to be used.
A good rule of thumb to follow when using a ladder is to maintain 3 points of contact (this will be discussed further below). Also, when you need to reach for something while on the ladder – like let’s say an electrical tool or equipment– it is better to get off of it first.
When placing a ladder, you should always make sure that the ground is level and firm. Also, it should never be placed in front of a door unless there is a guarantee that it won’t open; it should be locked, blocked, or guarded.
Another good practice is to have someone support the base while you’re climbing a ladder. You have to make sure that in any situation, the ladder must have a completely stable footing that won’t damaged or be hindered in any way.
The three points of contact is a rule that should be followed not just while using ladders. It’s a common rule that many occupations follow, especially when the job requires climbing. Basically, this rule states that a person must have three or four limbs in contact with the apparatus they are using to climb at all times. These are the two hands, and at least one foot. The feet will be what is used to ascend, while the hands make sure that the person is always attached to the apparatus. This rule ensures maximum stability and support, as well as reduces the risk of falling and slipping.
Basically, a good ladder is a must-have in your set of construction tools because using a broken one can lead to an accident. But aside from this, you need ample knowledge regarding how to use one properly. Being that human error is the main cause of ladder accidents, it won’t matter to have a good one if you don’t know how to use it. So when you get a good ladder, or at least repair your current one, study up on the proper use of ladders while you’re at it. It will go a long way to ensure your safety whenever you need to do any DIY project at home or at your job that requires climbing.