Climbing a ladder seems like a simple chore as you decorate for the holidays, but it could become a life-changing accident. At Community Regional Medical Center last year, more than 175 people were hospitalized from ladder falls - several were permanently disabled.
During the holiday, more people are using ladders than any other time of year - and they don’t always use them correctly. We spoke to Community Regional safety expert Eliana Troncale about how to stay safe while decking the halls.
Troncale recommends hiring a professional trained on ladder safety, if possible. But if you do choose to do your own decorating, follow these tips:
Find the right ladder for the job. Make sure it’s tall enough to reach your object. Don't use the top step or rung.
Don’t lean away from the ladder to hang or adjust something. Instead move the ladder as needed to each area you are working on.
Place the ladder on a level ground surface. If you're on an uneven surface, place a board under the ladder feet to make it level.
Make sure the ladder is completely open or secure against the wall before you climb.
Don’t place a ladder on another object to gain additional height.
Troncale said it is important to be mindful while climbing or descending a ladder. Wear appropriate shoes to help you keep from slipping and make sure you have a good hold on the ladder with your hands.
And last, but not least, stay off the ladder in bad weather!