Did you know that 81% of fall injuries in the United States involve a ladder? Ladder falls can happen to anyone, whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a professional tradesperson. Our mission at ONE Gutter GuardTM is to protect you and your home from dangers associated with clogged gutters––from ladder falls to costly water damage. We encourage homeowners to hire an insured professional to tackle those projects that require a ladder to get on top of their house. But if you are determined to take the project on yourself, we have some advice to help keep you safe and prevent ladder falls.
Choose the Right Ladder:
Begin by selecting the appropriate ladder for your project. Ensure it is tall enough for the task without overextending the area you need to access. Additionally, make sure that it can support your body weight and tools safely.
Inspect Your Ladder:
Before each use, thoroughly inspect your ladder, checking for any signs of damage or wear. Look for loose rungs, missing screws, or bent parts, and if any issues are detected, repair or replace the ladder before using it.
Set Up on Stable Ground:
Ensure your ladder is positioned on a level, stable surface. Avoid soft or uneven terrain, and never attempt to stabilize a ladder with makeshift solutions. If the ground is uneven, consider using ladder levelers or leg extensions for added stability. If a stable surface cannot be achieved, please consult an insured professional.
Maintain the Right Angle:
Position your ladder at the correct angle, which is typically a 75-degree angle. This is also referred to as the "4-to-1" rule. For every four feet of ladder height, the base of your ladder’s legs should be one foot away from the vertical surface you're leaning it against.
Secure the Top:
Secure the top of your ladder whenever possible to prevent slipping or tipping. Utilize ladder stabilizers, standoff brackets, or anchor it to a sturdy support point.
Maintain Three Points of Contact:
Follow ladder safety best practices by always maintaining three points of contact while climbing—two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. Avoid overreaching, which can lead to instability and falls.
Use Proper Footwear:
Wear non-slip, closed-toe shoes with clean, dry soles when using a ladder. Avoid footwear that could cause you to slip or lose your grip while working at heights.
Clear Your Workspace:
Prior to ascending the ladder, ensure your work area is free of debris, tools, or any other objects that could potentially lead to a fall if accidentally knocked off the ladder.
Respect Weight Limits:
Every ladder has weight limits for a reason. Never exceed the maximum load capacity specified by the manufacturer, accounting for your weight and any tools or materials you'll be carrying.
Take your time while climbing and descending the ladder. Rushing through tasks increases the risk of making mistakes or losing your balance.
Organize Your Tools and Workspace:
Organizing your workspace and having the necessary tools within reach will improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary movements. Think through your project and plan ahead for needs that may arise.
Phone a Friend:
Having an extra set of hands can be helpful for projects that involve getting on a ladder. If you do not have anyone available to help and spot you, please let someone know you are starting a project and will call them when you have safely finished.
Please do not let you or a loved one be one of the 500,000 people treated yearly for ladder-related injuries. Preventing ladder falls is crucial for your safety and well-being. Following these tips and adopting safe ladder practices can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries when working at heights. But, of course, installing ONE Gutter GuardsTM on your home is another way to reduce your time on a ladder and help keep you safe because we guarantee you will never have to clean your gutters again.