Top tips to avoid falling from ladders

Review your knowledge of ladder safety to reduce the risk of falls and injury.
Review your knowledge of ladder safety to reduce the risk of falls and injury.

NSW SES text messages sent to Great Lakes residents earlier this week warned of flash flooding and tidal impacts.

On Monday, December 4 phones received the following advice “NSW SES advise Flood Watch for your area. Flash flooding and tidal impacts likely. Stay clear of floodwater.”

Storm season is October through to March and the NSW SES urges people to act to prepare their properties to be storm safe.

Three of eight tips it promotes for people to do to prepare their homes require the use of ladders - trim trees and branches, make sure your roof is in good repair and clean gutters.

Paramedics recently issued a warning to take care on ladders during storms after 12 people were hospitalised in 12 hours from falls during the extreme weather event in Victoria.

Eleven men and one woman across the State were injured on Thursday, November 30 with many telling paramedics they had fallen while clearing gutters ahead of the storms.

The safe use of ladders is also in the spotlight as many Manning Valley residents work to place Christmas lights and structures on the roof of their homes.

The Safework NSW provides the following precautions to help avoid injury.

  • Choose the right ladder for the job. It should meet Australian standards and the load requirements of the job.
  • Inspect the ladder for damage before each use.
  • Only use a ladder if you are physically-capable of doing so.
  • Always set up the ladder on a flat, stable surface. 
  • Always maintain three point of contact with the ladder. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.
  • Never lean or reach away from the ladder while using it.
  • Only take small items up or down a ladder – never large or heavy items and only carry items that allow you to maintain three points of contact.
  • The combined weight of the person using the ladder and any items or tools should never exceed the working load limit on the ladder.
  • A-frame ladders should only be used when locked in the fully-open position.
  • If you’re using an extension ladder, secure it at the top, bottom or both. If this isn’t possible then have someone hold the ladder in place while in use.
  • Do not climb or work past the second-last rung of a ladder, and never straddle the top of an A-frame ladder.
  • When climbing down, remain facing the ladder and climb to the bottom rung before stepping off.