Planning Your Next DIY Job? Here’s How To Be Ladder-Safe
Did you know that each year in Australia, thousands of people are hospitalised due to ladder-related injuries? Falls from ladders are the leading cause of injury from ‘do it yourself’ jobs around the home. Sadly, those who are over the age of 65 make up a majority of these cases. So, here’s what you can do to stay ladder-safe during your next project.
Inspect Your Equipment
Each time you go to use a ladder no matter the task, it should be thoroughly inspected from top to bottom. Check for broken hinges, loose screws or nails and broken rungs. If the ladder is worn out in any way, it should be repaired or replaced.
Newer ladders will have safety warning stickers attached. Before using a ladder, check the weight limit and operating instructions on the sticker.
Once you’ve checked your ladder for faults, it’s time to put it to use. A ladder should always be placed on a flat, even surface, and secured on both ends. Never place a ladder near a closed door, especially when someone else is home.
When leaning a ladder against a wall, follow the 4:1 ratio. For every four metres of height, the base of the ladder should be one metre from the wall. When using an A-frame ladder, make sure it’s fully open and locked in place.
Take care when ascending and descending a ladder, go slowly and secure your footing on each rung. Always maintain three points of contact at all times and avoid manoeuvring with heavy objects.
Assess Your Ability
We all love to save a few dollars and stay active by doing our own home maintenance. But it’s important to know your limits. Each time you go to use a ladder for gardening or jobs around the home, assess yourself both physically and mentally. Am I feeling up to climbing ladders today? Am I feeling dizzy or light-headed? Is there someone nearby who can help if an accident happens?
If you’re not feeling up to a job, our team at After-Care can do the ladder work for you. Whether you need your gutters cleaned, your fruit trees pruned, or your hedges chopped, we’ve got you covered. Click here to learn more about our gardening and home maintenance services, and to keep yourself ladder-safe.