It’s the time of year for hanging holiday decorations and cleaning eaves troughs. Unfortunately, it can also be the time of year for injuries from ladder falls.
“Ladder falls at home peak around this time of year,” says Alycia Kelly, Public Health Promoter. “That’s because people are cleaning eaves troughs and hanging seasonal decorations such as lights.”
Men are most likely to fall, representing more than 80% of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for injuries related to falls from ladders. The rates are highest in 50-64 year olds.
To use ladders safely, follow these tips:
- Never use a ladder by yourself. Always have someone hold the bottom of the ladder for you.
- Remember the “4 to 1 rule”. For every four feet of height you have to climb, place the ladder base one foot out from the wall.
- Take time to move the ladder to avoid over-reaching. If your belt buckle crosses the ladder on either side, you’re reaching too far.
- Always face the ladder when you are climbing and wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Ladders conduct electricity. Don’t use a ladder near power lines.
For more information on preventing falls, visit www.huronhealthunit.ca