Dangers While Decking the Halls: Holiday Ladder Safety
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of people injured while decorating for the holidays is around 160 per day, on average – with roughly half of these incidents involving falls.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that falls are a serious problem throughout the country. The resulting injuries can be sprains, broken bones, skull fractures, brain damage, or even death. One of the major issues is that ladders usually extend six feet, but most rooflines are eight to 10 feet high. Most home ladders are designed to fold, so even a small nudge can cause a collapse.
Lead Attorney Brad Parker says, “As we get older, our balance isn’t what it once was. Using a ladder really should be a two-person job. Having someone hold the base of the ladder while the other person hangs lights and decorations is your safest bet.”
The Alliance Safety Council lists the following as the five basic rules for ladder safety.
1. Make sure you select the right ladder for the job.
It is important to consider load capacity and your own weight when choosing a ladder to use for hanging lights or decorations. The ladder should be tall enough without having to use the top 3 feet.
2. Do a thorough inspection of the ladder before using it.
Be sure to do the following before using your ladder:
- Check the ladder’s stability.
- Ensure that all screws, bolts, and hinges are tight and that the base of the ladder is secure.
- Look for loose or damaged rungs, steps, supports, and other structural damage.
- Check for any mud or grease that could cause slips and falls.
This inspection shouldn’t take much time, but can go a long way in preventing falls and injury.
3. Set the ladder up correctly.
Ensure the ladder is placed on a level surface and that it has non-slip pads at the base. Be sure to lock or block any nearby doors that open toward you. If you’re using a stepladder, ensure that it is fully open before use. When climbing onto a roof or platform from a ladder, the ladder must extend at least 3 feet above the edge and be tied off at the top.
4. Ascend and descend the ladder slowly and carefully.
Stay near the middle and face the ladder while holding onto the side rails with at least one hand when climbing or descending. Also, look out for overhead power lines or hanging tree limbs before climbing a ladder.
5. Use common sense and follow these additional rules when using a ladder:
Keeping the following rules in mind can also help to keep you safe while decorating this holiday season:
- Keep the ladder and the surrounding area free of clutter.
- Never use a ladder for something other than its intended purpose.
- Never use a ladder horizontally like a platform.
- Do not carry loads that prevent using at least one hand on the ladder.
- Do not stand on the top step or the top cap, and do not overload your ladder.
- Do not place a ladder on anything unstable.
When in doubt, practicing common sense and erring on the side of caution is best.
Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers Is Here To Help
The holidays should be one of the best parts of the year, a time to enjoy the company of friends and family. It is our hope that by keeping these tips in mind, you and your loved ones will have a joyous, injury-free holiday season. If you have any additional questions about how to stay safe during this time, we encourage you to reach out to us.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers in Bedford for Help Today
For more information, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have convenient locations in Fort Worth and Bedford, Texas.