GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cleaning out gutters, taking down those long overdue Christmas decorations, changing a light bulb. These are all household chores you need a ladder for.
The CDC confirms at least 500,000 people were treated for a ladder related injuries in 2017. Three hundred of those injuries were deadly.
Bill VonDohlen of Fish Window Cleaning is our expert on this, as his workers are constantly on a ladder.
"Before you climb, inspect your ladder. They are used infrequently and could have become rusted or bent while in storage. You should never use a damaged ladder."
After inspection, make sure you put the ladder feet on an even surface. Different kinds of flooring or even a throw rug could make it unsteady.
When it comes to climbing the ladder, VonDohlen says you should abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards: maintain a 3-point contact on the ladder when climbing – two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand should always be touching the ladder during ascent. That means you need that 3-point of contact when you're on it and working too. No leaning over!
There are plenty of warning labels/markings on ladders. Look at them and make sure you pay close attention to two specific markings: the weight limit and the stop step.
If your ladder is not high enough, don't ever put anything under it to make it taller.