A ladder is a basic tool for many home maintenance and DIY projects. Considering that there are around 164,000 emergency room injuries caused by falls from ladders each year, even those who are accustomed to using ladders should know what to avoid so that they stay safe, each step they take.
1. Choosing the Wrong Type of Ladder
Ladders come in many different types, styles, and weight capacities. Using the wrong type of ladder can lead to disaster. You should determine what ladder you need by considering the project you will be doing, the environment you will be doing it in, and the weight of the materials you may be holding.
2. Using a Worn-Out Ladder
Just like most other things, ladders become worn down with age, increasing the chance of them breaking. If your ladder is old or rusty, it’s advised that you do not use this ladder. Getting the task or project done immediately is not worth your safety.
3. Not Using Three Points of Contact
All too often, individuals ascend ladders with both hands full, leaving them no opportunity to grab the ladder if needed. Other times, the ladder may be slightly too short and the individual may stand on their toes to reach something a few inches higher. These are some of the easiest ways to lose your balance and fall down a ladder. To avoid this, always keep three points of contact – both feet and at least one hand – on the ladder at all times.
4. Leaving the Spreaders Unlocked
Even when you’re doing a short, simple task like changing a lightbulb or cleaning out the gutters on your two-story home, always make sure the spreaders on your ladder are securely locked in place! Failing to do so can cause the ladder to close in on itself, meaning you may fall forward or backward with the ladder on top of you. Remember, most ladder accident deaths occur from falls that are 10 feet or less.
Unfortunately, some things are out of your control. You may take all the aforementioned precautions but still sustain an injury due to a defective ladder. If you or a loved one was injured in this way, our product liability attorneys will review the evidence of your case and help you pursue your financial recovery against liable parties.
Contact Marciano & MacAvoy at (215) 960-0789 to schedule your free case review with our firm.