Some of the veterans in the room might think it’s common sense but you might be surprised at how many people fall off of a ladder every year. A serious ladder fall can happen to anyone anytime. If you fall from a ladder, it can have serious consequences to your life and your career, newbie or pro. Two years ago I fell off of a four foot step ladder (yeah a four foot step ladder) that was not sitting on level ground and sprained my ankle. The pain stayed with me for over a year. It was not fun at all. Ankle injuries are the longest to heal and you don’t want to be the guy that falls off the ladder in the busy season. It can end your career just as fast as it started.
Case in point, yesterday I was approached by a well known prominent person in my area about cleaning windows. He said he had a guy cleaning for him for many years but recently he fell off of a ladder breaking his ankle. The window cleaner decided to hang up the business because he literally can't do it anymore. Great for me because the fellow that approached me owns a ton of commercial property in the area but bad for the guy that is having a hard time walking right now. [B] There are a few things you can do to help make sure you don't fall off a ladder. [/B]
If it’s a step ladder make sure it’s on level ground. A ladder on an an incline is much more likely to tip if you are standing on the top rung causing a fall.
Another thing not to do is to stretch too far when at the top of a ladder because you might lose your balance.
If its a extension ladder make sure it sits three feet above the roof for safe and easy access.
From seasoned pro to newbie, the risk of falling off of a ladder is real. It doesn't matter how experienced you are, if you sustain a serious injury from a fall, your career can be over. You might just go your whole career and never fall off of a ladder but that one time you do may be the one that ends it. Be as safe as possible up there and as a good friend tells me "safety is no accident." Any other guys out there with good ladder safety advise for the newbies?