It is the season when everyone is getting ready for winter. You may be cleaning your gutters or taking a look at your shingles and both of those require you getting on a ladder. Approximately 135,000 people per year are injured while using ladders in America alone.
A professional roofer or a gutter cleaning service can spare you the potential of an accident but if you must be on a ladder to hang holiday ornaments or to remove debris from your roof then consider a few helpful tips that can have you up and down more safely.
Some basic elements of ladder safety include:
- Use a ladder that extends three feet above the roof line.
- Always make sure the feet of the ladder are level and situated on level ground.
- Never use a metal ladder near electrical or power lines. Opt for fiberglass or wooden ladders in these areas.
- Check the ladder’s maximum load rating and don’t exceed it.
- Never stand on the top rungs of a ladder. This can create an imbalance and cause tipping.
- Always check the ladder before you begin to climb. Make sure the rung locks and spreader braces are secure.
- Stay off the top and the bucket shelf of the ladder. It is not designed to withstand the same weight as the rungs.
- It never hurts to have a spotter when you are on the ladder. Find someone to hold the bottom for the best level of security.
- Wear shoes that have non-slip soles. Never climb a ladder barefoot, in sandals or with loose shoe laces.
- Ladders propped at a 75-degree angle against a surface have less chance of slipping.
Injuries like broken arms and legs, dislocated shoulders, head injuries and eve death can result from a ladder fall. The most common reasons for ladder falls include standing on the top rungs or shelf, using a damaged ladder, slipping or carrying objects while climbing the ladder.
Load rating are important. Be aware that different rating do apply depending on the type and style.
- Type IA: Extra-heavy-duty ladders are rated to hold up to 300 pounds. Type IA ladders are generally used by professional roofers like 7 Summits Roofing company in order to ensure the highest standards of safety.
- Type I: Heavy-duty ladders are generally used for industrial projects and can hold up to 250 pounds.
- Type II: Medium-duty ladders are intended for commercial use so you can be assured that this level of rating also provides superior safety features. You will see rating for holding up to 225 pounds for this type of ladder.
- Type III: Most ladders in this category are light-duty and are reserved for household use. You might find them reliable but remember their weigh load recommendations are for only 200 pounds or less.
A few extra precautions can save you from a severe injury when it comes to getting up on a ladder. Even with the best safety practices in place certain people hope that they never have to climb a ladder much less get up on the roof from the ladder.
If you are hesitant at all about climbing then call a professional. Professionals have been trained in all of the above practices. They won’t be anxious or out of practice.
If you need new gutters, your roof repaired or replaced, or an assessment of your HVAC unit – all which may require the use of ladders – then take the safer path and contact our professionally trained roofing team at 7 Summits Roofing company in Colorado Springs.
We take the guess work out of ladders, gutters, roof replacements and repairs while you stay safe and sound on the ground.