It might not be something that you think about, but are you taking the right safety precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe?
Society for Risk Analysis has found that falls from ladders and roofs top all other accidental deaths in construction work. So it is no wonder then that large companies like Home Depot have dedicated their efforts to promoting fall protection on their roofing sections of their stores.
The same level of concern should extend into your own home, even if it’s just a small patio or deck space. With 95% of people falling off a ladder when working on a residential property, preventable accidents are an uncomfortable reality many families already have experienced. Treatment for injuries sustained as a result can cost up to $100,000 for an individual.
Even if you are working on a project with no height involved, safety precautions should be taken. Falls from ladders can still happen if the operator is not paying attention or is otherwise not in control of their movements. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Keeping The Work Area Safe
It may seem obvious considering that it’ll be right below your feet, but keeping your work area clear and clutter-free will go a long way in preventing accidents and injuries at home. Whenever possible, set up your ladder over grass or other soft surfaces instead of cement. Even if you are setting up on dry ground, place plywood underneath to act as protection from any potential damage which could occur during use.
Here are some other safety tips for ladders and scaffolds which can be easily applied to your home projects:
-Make sure that the ladder is on solid ground and level before climbing up. Don’t trust tippy boards, open grating, or cracked concrete slabs. It’s worth taking the time to double check instead of rushing into things.
-Equip a ladder with non-slip feet or pads. You may also want to consider another option like roofing toe spikes which help prevent accidental slips and falls on angled surfaces.
-Use rope or nylon lift straps around your waist in case of an accident when using a ladder or scaffolding at height. This will act as a safety harness which is designed to prevent falls from height. Many can also be easily tied to a secure object in the event of a sudden accident which allows for more time to get out of harm’s way.
-Wear sturdy and strong shoes while on a ladder, preferably steel toe or composite safety boots if you are working with plumbing, electrical, or other hazardous materials.
-Treat your ladder as though it were any other piece of equipment – i.e., don’t rely solely on yourself when using it! Never let tools or supplies go above shoulder level on the ladder as this creates an unstable environment where accidents can happen unexpectedly. You should always use both hands when climbing up or down the ladder in addition to having both feet on the ground.
-Prevent slipping, especially with oily or dusty surfaces by using a ladder mat underneath which will also help absorb some of the noise from your tools and materials when being used.
-Always lock your handrails when climbing up or down to prevent any mishaps. Do not lean against any side rails which don’t lock into place as this can cause instability in the structure itself and make it more prone to accidents. Also remember that many ladders are only rated for specific maximum weight limits – exceeding these could easily lead to collapse!