How Do I Get That High? A Beginner’s Guide to Ladders
At Home Painters Toronto we paint everything from baseboards to ceilings, both interior and exteriors, and commercial and residential properties. Often times our work calls for using a ladder, which many people can find daunting. In fact, thousands of people end up in the ER due to ladder related injuries each year.
Some of this advice may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget or overlook these simple guidelines. Whether it’s a 4, 6, or 8’ ladder, the safety parameters remain the same. Avoid a trip to the emergency room and follow these tips the next time you need to break out a ladder for your home renovation project.
Top Ladder Safety Tips
• When you open a ladder be sure that the two hinged metal braces (called spreaders) are fully locked down and straight.
• Never set up a ladder on uneven ground. Be sure that all four feet of the ladder are firmly planted.
• Use the 4:1 rule, for every 4 feet of ladder it should be 1 foot away from the wall, this will prevent the ladder from tipping over.
• Never climb up the backside of the ladder, only and always the front, and be sure to always face the ladder when ascending and descending.
• Pay attention to load capacity – remember, it’s holding your weight, and the weight of whatever you are carrying.
• Regardless of the ladder height stay off of the top two rungs.
• Never sit on a rung of the ladder.
• Avoid over-reaching, a good general rule of thumb is to keep your hips within the vertical rails of the ladder.
• Keep your hands free with a tool belt, much better than hanging tools from the ladder.
Extension ladders; with great heights comes great responsibility and a greater chance of injury.
• When extending the ladder lay it on the ground, with feet against the house, then walk it upright. When it gets to almost 90 degrees, grab a rung about thigh height and walk the base away from the house. Still follow the 4:1 ratio.
• Grab the rope and raise the fly, or the telescopic section of the ladder to your desired height.
• Follow all other precautions outlined above, with the additional precaution that you shouldn’t stand higher than the fourth rung.
Afraid of heights? At Home Painters Toronto we have 25 years experience in ladder use, and we’ll tackle that high up painting job for you. Call us at 416 494 9095 or email us at Brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a free quote or for more safety tips on using ladders for your next home renovation.