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The most dangerous tool of all-surprise!

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Guy lying on ladder supported by power line

Power saws can certainly be dangerous but are they the most dangerous?

A woodworking seminar speaker asked, “how many of you have lost digits from using power saws?”  0 to 4 fingered hands went up all over the room.

But are they the most dangerous?

The answer is: Ladders are more dangerous.

Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. that are caused by falls from ladders. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. Falls from ladders are the leading cause of deaths on construction sites.

In Australia- Ladder Falls are the Most Common “Do-It-Yourself” Injury and Nearly 1 in 10 Result in a Brain Injury. ... Falls are now the leading cause of traumatic brain injury across the developed world, due to ageing populations, and 1 in 6 Australians hospitalised for a falls-related brain injury will die.

This brings up the question in my simple mind- if they are already upside down-shouldn’t they fall up?

I give you a few tips on using a ladder correctly and some links for you to check out to make sure you avoid a brain injury, paralysis, or being mistaken for a flying superhero.  

One reason ladder deaths are higher is this: more people have a ladder then own a power saw. More people use a ladder than a power saw. Ladders are also simply used incorrectly more often because they don’t sound scary-they are silent- so aren’t deemed a threat.

Here are some straight ladder tips but I encourage you to do your own research

1)     Slope of ladder should be 1:4 so for every 4’ up-go out 1’ (or for you modern age metric types- 1.25m to .31m)

2)     Ladder should extend 3’ above the top

3)     Ladder should be tied off-or use standoffs-this helps stabilize the ladder as well protects the gutters from damage

4)     Try to get a class 2 ladder as homeowner ladders are too light

5)     Don’t take the extension ladder apart-keep together for strength


Leveling leg

For step ladders:

1)     Avoid aluminium ladders as they tend to ‘walk’ on you.

2)     Never ever stand on the very top-use a taller step ladder

3)     A person's maximum safe reaching height is approximately 4' higher than the height of the ladder

Never reach out to the sides or over you will go. Keep your body between the side rails.

To use ladders safely, always maintain three points of contact. That means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. Put both hands firmly on the rungs before stepping onto a ladder. Break 3-point contact only when you reach the ground or a stable platform.

I also check out the ground where I might land and remove things that might do some greater harm-such as becoming a human pin cushion from plant stakes. 

Be safe!