Safety Tips for Proper Ladder Usage
Take these important notes before you start your climb.
Do-it-yourselfers, take note: One of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in your garage may be a ladder. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are more than 164,000 ladder-related injuries treated in emergency rooms yearly in the United States.
Follow these safety basics to avoid becoming a statistic:
Choose the safest ladder. Fiberglass and wood ladders are safe choices for most tasks. Aluminum ladders are lightweight and easy to handle but conduct electricity, so they’re a poor choice when stringing plugged-in holiday lights.
Pay attention. No matter what type of ladder you use, stay away from power lines, which can be deadly. Also watch your belt buckle. You’re reaching too far—and are in danger of falling—if your buckle moves beyond a ladder’s side rail.
Climb with caution. For stepladders, don’t climb any higher than the second rung from the top. For extension ladders, stay at or below the fourth rung from the top.