When you are using a ladder, you have to make sure that you keep in mind the necessary safety to prevent yourself from getting hurt. Whether it is painting the walls, cleaning the roof or even climbing to get something, you have to make sure that the ladder you choose is steady, sturdy as well as strong enough to bare your weight.
Recent statistics of emergency room visits and deaths
Every year many people who get hurt or die because of falling down. What makes this worse is that in a few cases, situations like this could have been prevented easily. As per a recent survey, in a year there are close to 180,000 visits made to the emergency room due to injuries sustained while using ladders. The number of deaths that incur due to no proper safety or precautions taken while climbing the ladder is close to 180 deaths in a year.
Reasons for such mishaps
The major reason why many people fall down is the fact that the ladder they used was not proper. During the inspection, some of the reasons that were highlighted were the use of old /worn out ladders, broken or cracked joints, instability etc. If you look at all these factors, you can easily understand that these sorts of things can be prevented.
So how can these factors be prevented?
Well, In order to ensure that such mishaps do not happen, it is very important that when you are selecting the ladder, you keep in mind a few important things.
The material of the ladder
The material of the ladder plays a very important role. It is essential that you consider your requirement and frequency of use. While wooden ladders may be a good option budget-wise; in the long run, they are prone to wear and tear. On the other hand, steel or aluminum ladders are a better choice since they last longer. If you are in a profession where you need to use the ladder often, then going for a steel or aluminum one is a better choice.
The height of the ladder
Another important factor that has to be considered is the height of the ladder. Some ladders come in a single piece where there is no provision to extend it. However, there are also ladders that you can extend to increase the height. Depending on where you plan to use the ladder, you need to choose the height accordingly.
The maximum and minimum weight it can hold
Given the fact that every ladder has a maximum and minimum weight, you have to consider this as well. While choosing the ladder, make sure that it is strong enough to sustain your weight. If you have more than one person using it, consider the person that weighs the most. This way the ladder will easily sustain the weight.
Extension of the ladder
Even if you do choose a ladder that has an extension, you have to make sure that it is strong. This will help to prevent any kind of mishaps. Normally, in such cases, the extension may not be very steady. This is the main reason behind some of the most common ladder-related mishaps.
Safety and Care of the ladder
The next thing that cannot be avoided is the safety concerns while using the ladder. You have to make sure that you keep in mind your personal safety first before anything else. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while using a ladder.
- Wear a helmet to protect your head in case you fall down. Some cases that are reported in the emergency room are due to injuries to the head because of the fall.
- Avoid wearing shoes that are slippery, this is important especially when you are climbing the ladder during the rains or in case your shoes are wet.
- During the rainy season, make sure that the steps of the ladder have a broad base; this will help you to get a better grip while climbing up or down.
- Keep your ladder clean and in case there is rust get it painted. This is important so that you do not end up getting an infection due to a cut.