Budgeting for a professional gutter cleaner could be a smart investment; more than 28,000 people are injured every year in falls off of ladders in home cleaning projects. If you do decide to take on gutter cleaning on your own, be very careful to scope out hazards such as wet leaves on the roof and exposed electrical wires.
Gutter Cleaning Safety Hazards
There are many risks present when cleaning gutters including slipping, tripping, and falling off a wet roof or ladder and being shocked by electrical wires.
Ladders pose a particular risk of injury. There are many reasons that ladders pose a risk including:
- The ladder being unstable. Common causes of an unstable ladder include placement on uneven ground or insecure positioning on a roof or against the wall or gutter.
- The ladder being in poor repair. Old ladders that sit out in the shop year after year without proper maintenance will start to break down and become unstable and unsafe.
- Experiencing vertigo or dizziness. It is common for people to become dizzy when working at a high height.
Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips
Only use a ladder that is tall enough to reach where you need to clean and keep it within a comfortable distance of the spot you are cleaning. Leaning too far over to one side increases your risk of falling of the ladder. If you are using cleaning tools while on the ladder, carry them in a bucket or bag and be careful not to get them tangled on the ladder as you climb.
Always wear hard sole, non-slip shoes. Wear safety gloves when setting up and disassembling your ladder to avoid pinch point injuries. Avoid wearing lose fitting clothing as it can became entangled with the ladder. Wear clothing appropriate for the temperature; you don’t want to be freezing cold or over-heating.
Electrical Wire Safety
Look up to see if electrical wires will be in your path before positioning your ladder. Always keep ladders at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines. Wires should never be contacted or touched under any circumstances; overhead power lines are not insulated to prevent electrical shocks.
Dizziness and Vertigo
Be careful not to get up too fast when climbing up or off a ladder as it can cause dizziness and vertigo with could mean a dangerous fall.
Ladder Injuries Increase with Age
The dangers of gutter cleaning become more acute with increased age. People aged 65 and older are more likely to get into an accident due to decreasing balance and increased illnesses. According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety, people aged 65 and older accounted for half of all deaths associated with a ladder in 2002. They also accounted for 16 percent of emergency room visits involving ladder-related injuries but 39 percent of those hospitalized for these injuries. If a person feels nervous about cleaning their gutters, it is in their best interest to hire a professional gutter cleaner.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!