When it comes time to do roof repairs on your Nashville home, many homeowners think that the easiest route is to do it themselves. Undertaking a project like roofing maintenance may give you a sense of accomplishment, but doing it yourself does come with a considerable amount of risk, especially when it comes to ladders.
Some Shocking Ladder Injury Statistics
We tend to think of ladders as a simple tool that’s easy enough to use. How hard can it be? All you have to do is unfold it and make sure it’s stable, right? But the truth is that injuries caused by falling off of a ladder are very common: anyone who steps on a ladder is taking a safety risk.
In fact, half a million people are treated for ladder-related injuries every year in the United States. Roughly 300 of these accidents end in a fatality.
The number of ladder falls and ladder related-injuries has also been steadily increasing in recent years, likely due in part to the increased interest in DIY projects.
4 Most Common Ladder Mistakes
- Using the Wrong Type of Ladder
- Incorrect Ladder Placement
- Using Ladders That Are Old or Damaged
- Climbing the Ladder Improperly
Using ladders incorrectly is a serious safety issue. It’s possible to prevent ladder accidents not just by creating useless anxiety by taking the proper precautions. To protect yourself from unnecessary harm, make sure that you avoid making the following ladder mistakes:
Using the Wrong Type of Ladder
If you’re a novice when it comes to doing your own roof repairs or roofing maintenance, you might think that a ladder is just a ladder. But there are, in fact, several different types of ladders that can be used for various purposes. Like with any job, it’s important to choose the right tool for the task at hand.
Let’s say, for instance, that you want to climb up on your roof to try and replace some asphalt shingles. The tool you have available to you is a step ladder, which is the most commonly used household ladder. Step ladders are self-supporting so you think you’re safe in using one to get on the roof, right?
Wrong! An extension ladder would be the best choice in this case. An extension ladder will provide the height and stability you need to get up on your roof more safely. Your step ladder may be tall enough for you to reach the roof, but it would be very easy for the ladder to tip once you’re on the upper rungs.
Incorrect Ladder Placement
When setting up your ladder, it’s essential to take proper precautions and make sure that the ladder is stable. Check the ground where you plan on placing the ladder to confirm that it’s firm and level. Placing your ladder on soft, wet, uneven ground could cause the ladder to become unstable and fall.
You should also be extra cautious when placing a ladder in front of a door. Make sure that the door is locked or secured so that it can’t be opened unexpectedly and knock the ladder over.
If possible, have someone with you to help stabilize the ladder while you climb. If no helper is available, try staking the feet of the ladder into the ground for additional stability.
Using Ladders That Are Old or Damaged
Another mistake that DIYers often make when taking care of roof maintenance is using a ladder that has seen better days. You might think that the old wooden ladder you inherited from your grandpa is safe to use, but even ladders have a service-life.
You may not want to invest in a new ladder, but it’s important to keep the tools that you use up-to-date. Accidents on outdated ladders are, unfortunately, all too common. All it takes is one broken step and you’ll come tumbling down.
To make sure that you stay safe while using a ladder, check to make sure that it’s in working order before you take a step. Thoroughly inspect your ladder, searching for any evidence of loose steps, cracks, or other damage. If the ladder is damaged, have it replaced or professionally repaired before attempting your Nashville roof repairs.
Climbing the Ladder Improperly
The number one cause of ladder falls is attempting to climb a ladder while carrying something at the same time. You might think that you’re saving time by doing two tasks at once, but you’re just putting yourself at risk.
When you climb a ladder, the proper way is to maintain three points of contact at all times. You should never have both hands off of the ladder. That means do not try to carry or reach for anything while on the ladder.
If there’s something just out of your grasp, do not attempt to grab for it. Instead, get off the ladder and move so you can safely reach the item you need. When it comes to ladders, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
Our Professional Nashville Roofers Know Ladder Safety
If you’re in need of roofing maintenance, repairs, or installation but you don’t want to risk injury from a ladder fall, call our Nashville roofers. At Tennessee Contracting Services, our Nashville roofers know all about the importance of ladder safety.
We’re professional contractors who are very mindful of safety rules and regulations. As highly-respected Nashville roofers, we put the utmost care into the work we do and pride ourselves on our safety record.
Our Nashville roofers have the skills, training, and experience to take care of all your roofing needs. If you’d like to receive a free quote for our services, please call us at 615-590-7428 or use the contact form on this site.