Ladder matters: Climb safely

It’s true that ladders have come a long way since their first use about 10,000 years ago, and presumably so has knowledge about ladder safety. But just in case some remnants of the Mesolithic-era brain linger, before you climb up a ladder to hang drywall or clean gutters, refresh your knowledge of how to use a ladder safely.

According the American Ladder Institute, there are a handful of ladder safety rules to pay attention to before you begin your climb.

Use the “three points of contact” rule. Face the ladder and always have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, in contact with the ladder steps, rung, and/or side rails at all times.

Do not use ladders in high winds or storms. Sure you might discover a hole in the roof during a rainstorm, but bust out the buckets instead of climbing up there to do a patch job.

Wear slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not appropriate for ladder use.

Before using a ladder, inspect it to confirm it is in good working condition. Pick the ladder that’s the right size for the job. The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber, tools, supplies, and other objects placed on the ladder.

Do not use the top rung or step of the ladder. If you need to get higher, get a taller ladder.

Make sure your ladder is on firm, level ground. If know it will be resting on an uneven surface, there’s a ladder for that, so get the right one for the job.

Only one person at a time. If more than one person needs to be on the ladder, there’s a special ladder for that, too.

Do not put ladders in front of doors or windows that open toward the ladder. Or prop the door open, make sure it’s locked, or post a guard at it.

Read the safety information labels on the ladder. They’re there for a reason.

Contact your Grinnell Mutual agent today to make sure you have protection for all your valuable tools, your business, and your home.