Holiday decorations are part of what makes this season so special. Unfortunately, they can also have the potential to bring injury and danger. Ladders are used to hang lights and decorations up high for everyone to enjoy, however if they aren’t used correctly, ladders can increase the risk for injury or even death. Here are a few tips from Oklahoma State University on how to stay safe while decorating this season:
- Make sure you are using the right type of ladder: There are many kinds of ladders, so the user should consider what they need it for. Ladders come in different heights, can hold different weights, and are usually meant for indoor or outdoor use.
- Keep the ladder on a flat surface: If the ladder is not tall enough, do not place it on something else like a box or table. It will be very unstable and likely to fall.
- Face your body towards the ladder: Avoid twisting or standing sideways while on the ladder. It is also important to hold the rungs (the steps on the ladder) instead of the sides.
- Have three points of contact with the ladder: Either keep both feet and one hand on the ladder at all times or both hands and one foot. It is important to keep your body stable to prevent the ladder from moving. Do not lean or overreach while on the ladder and never stand on the top shelf or bucket shelf. If you cannot reach what you want, reposition the ladder as you need it, or use a taller one.
- Look at the weather: If the weather is bad, avoid using a ladder until it is better. If the ground or the ladder become slippery, it can be very dangerous.
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