5 ladder safety tips and 5 home tips to avoid slips, trips & falls
AMHERST, N.Y. – Did you know June is National Safety Month? Throughout the month of June, Excelsior Orthopaedics’ Safety Coordinator, Peter McCabe, is sharing tips and facts on ways to stay safe.
Our first set of safety tips for National Safety Month have to do with slips, trips, and falls.
Falls from height are the second leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. As our weather continues to improve, many are actively spring-cleaning outdoors, and if you are thinking about getting up to the gutters or have a few windows to clean, be sure to follow these ladder safety tips:
- Inspect the ladder before you use it. Identify any issues that may make the ladder unsafe for use. For example, look for loose or damaged rungs, steps, or rails. Also make sure there are no missing screws, bolts, or hinges.
- Set-up the ladder correctly before use. Be sure the ladder’s base is securely in contact with the ground surface and is level. Be mindful of wet or lose surfaces that may cause the ladder to slip when in use. If using a straight ladder, the ladder should be placed at a 4-to-1 ratio. This means the base should be one foot away from the wall or other vertical surface for every four feet of height to the point of support. If you are attempting to get onto a roof, the ladder must extend at least 3 feet above the edge of the roof.
- Go up and down with care. Always face the ladder and use both hands to climb and descend. Always keep three limbs on the ladder. Carry tools in a tool belt or raise and lower them with a hand line. Be sure not to wear loose clothing that could get caught on the ladder.
- Know your ladder limits. Never climb higher than the second step from the top on a stepladder or the third step from the top on a straight ladder. Follow all manufacturer warning signs/recommendations found on the ladder.
- Ask for help. Whenever possible, always look for help to hold the base of the ladder and most importantly always notify someone you will be up and down a ladder if no one is home.
In general, we do not need to be high up on a ladder to become injured from a slip, trip or fall. Good housekeeping is the first and most fundamental level of preventing falls due to slips and trips. They include:
- Removing obstacles from walkways and keeping walkways free from clutter
- Marking spills and wet areas – followed by the cleansing of any spills immediately
- Secure any mats, rugs, and/or carpets not flush with the ground surface
- Covering cables and other tripping hazards crossing walkways
- Keeping areas well-lit and when lights are out, replace bulbs immediately
Stay tuned throughout June for more safety tips!