Tag Archives: ladder accidents

Thanksgiving is over and many families are getting ready to string Christmas lights for the season. Unfortunately, the activity comes with a risk of accident and injury. People landing in the emergency room as a result of holiday decorating accidents rose from 12,000 cases in 2009 to 15,000 cases in 2013 according to the Consumer […]

gutter-cleaning-safety-tipsBudgeting 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

Ladder Safety

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.

Safe Clothing

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. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!

fall-clean-up-accidentsFall is here and that brings fall projects and fall clean-up. Every year, thousands of Americans are injured in fall clean-up activities including back strains from raking leaves and sprains and broken bones from falling off ladders or roofs while cleaning gutters or windows. In 2010, more than 35,500 people were injured using a stepladder and 532,000 were injured in falls from ladders.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) encourages people to take the proper safety precautions to reduce the number of fall clean-up related accidents this season.
Fall Clean-Up Safety Tips:

Raking

  • It is best to wait until the majority of the leaves have fallen to do one big fall clean-up. Spot cleaning tends to lead to carelessness and injuries.
  • Raking a large yard is vigorous exercise! Warm your body up for at least 10 minutes with some stretching and light exercise before you start.
  • Choose a rake that is comfortable for your height and strength. Purchase a heavier, ergonomic rake if possible. The lighter the rake, the more energy you will actually need to use to gather the piles.
  • Wear lightweight clothes warm enough to prevent being cold but cool enough to avoid trapping sweat. Shoes should be supportive and comfortable, and should have slip-proof soles in case you walk across a patch of wet leaves.
  • To prevent blisters, wear gloves or use rakes with padded handles. You should also vary your movement, alternating your leg and arm positions often.
  • To prevent a back injury, do not overfill leaf bags. Never carry or throw a bag over your shoulder or to the side as the twisting motion places undue stress on your back. When you pick up the bag of leaves, separate your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your back straight. To lift, bend at the knees while tightening your stomach and leg muscles. If you are worried that the bag is too heavy or awkward to lift on your own then ask for help!

Ladder Use

  • Choose the right ladder for the job. A step ladder is meant for washing windows and other jobs at low or medium heights. An extension ladder is appropriate for cleaning high places, such as the gutters.
  • Before use, inspect the ladder for loose screws, hinges or rungs. Clean off accumulated mud, dirt or liquids.
  • Before you climb a ladder, make sure all ladder locks and safety braces are in place.
  • Never place a ladder on ground or flooring that is uneven, soft, or wet; choose a firm surface.
  • Use a sturdy step stool instead of a counter or furniture when cleaning high, hard to reach places.
  • When working on a ladder, do not lean so far that your bellybutton has gone beyond the edge of the ladder. Climb down the ladder and reposition it closer to your work area if necessary.
  • Never climb a ladder without a spotter.
  • Never sit or stand on the top of a step ladder or pail shelf as these areas weren’t designed to hold heavy weights.

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. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!