Whether you’re stringing up Christmas lights or giving your gutters one final clean-out until spring, ladders are a commonly used tool during the late fall and early winter season. However, they can lead to accidents if you’re not careful. The best way to handle injuries is to prevent them, but when accidents happen, it’s important to know what to do.
Meredith Lawhorn, trauma and EMS coordinator at Kettering Health Network, suggests the following for your safety:
- Clean the ladder before use, and inspect it for any discrepancies.
- Do not make a temporary repair of broken or missing parts.
- Set the ladder on stable, even ground and away from any obstructions.
- Open the ladder fully, locking the braces or spreaders.
- Use the 4:1 rule: for every four feet the ladder rises, make sure the ladder is one foot away from the wall.
- The highest you should stand on a stepladder should be two steps from the top.
When accidents happen
Falls greater than 20 feet for adults and two times their height for children should prompt you to call 911 or go to your closest emergency department.
“If you have any obvious deformity or loss of pulse, you need to go to the ER immediately,” Meredith says.
KNOW WHERE TO GO
Find your nearest emergency center and view the average wait time here.
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