As a professional home inspector I use my Little Giant ladder every day! On yesterdays inspection I had a few questions about the proper kind of ladder to use for cleaning out the gutters. For this single story I recommended a simple, light weight multi-purpose ladder such as the one I carry. But these questions prompted me to do a little research on ladder safety in general.
According to the CDC 43% of fatal falls in the last ten years involve a ladder! Think about it! It is very important to not take your safety for granted. There are over 150,000 injuries per year from ladder use.
The general rules we follow are:
- Never set up your ladder on uneven or sloping ground.
- Don’t lean over your center of gravity – climb down – move the ladder to a better position.
- Don’t talk or answer questions when going up or down the ladder.
- When cleaning out the gutters, if using an extension ladder, make sure your ladder is extended 3 foot past the roof line or gutter.
Here are links to some articles that may help you learn more about using a ladder correctly.
- 11 Ladder Safety Tips
- Gutter Cleaning Tips That Can Save Your Life
8 TIPS FOR GUTTER CLEANING
- Let someone know you are cleaning your gutters.
- Use a safe and secure ladder.
- Rake leaves off roof first.
- Wear rubber-soled shoes when walking on roof.
- Use plastic gutter scoop.
- Wear gloves and proper eyewear.
- Unclog downspouts.
- Watch out for hazardous power lines.
Also here is a video on how NOT to use a ladder. Watch, learn and enjoy!