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Even the thought of climbing a ladder can be scary for some people. The potential for falls and serious injury is enough for many homeowners to leave the gutter cleaning and holiday decorating to the pros. But if you're a do-it-yourselfer, or you have to reach a high cabinet or replace a bulb in a ceiling fixture, you're probably going to use a ladder.
Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths and the top cause of nonfatal injuries, according to Injury Facts. In 2017, 36,338 people died from falls at home or at work.
Using the wrong ladder can be dangerous. Think about the task at hand, choose the right size and style, and be sure to follow the directions on the ladder before you climb.
Consider these aspects of the job:
The American Ladder Institute can help you choose the right ladder for the job.
No matter what kind of ladder you're using, place the base on a firm, solid surface and avoid slippery, wet or soft surfaces.
When people use ladders frequently at work or at home, they run the risk of becoming complacent. Make sure every time you step on a ladder you are mindful of the task at hand, have reviewed the labels on the ladder and confirmed that the ladder is in good working condition.
Of all occupational injuries, slips, trip and falls are the third leading cause of death. The National Safety Council supports the OSHA National Safety Stand-Down. For more information on ladder safety at work, visit OSHA's website. The NSC Construction and Utilities Division also offers this Falls from Heights toolkit.
Sponsored by the American Ladder Institute, National Ladder Safety Month is held in March.
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