Don’t Break Your Back Cleaning Gutters
Many times people call our company after they’ve experienced a mishap cleaning gutters.
We did a large job installing gutter protection after the homeowner broke his back trying to clean his gutters. He was working from a ladder that was not on level ground. When he reached over to clear a section of gutter in the corner, the center of balance changed causing the ladder to shift and it fell, with him on it. Such accidents are not uncommon. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 53 people die each year from ladder deaths and more than 8,300 are injured. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. Such statistics begs the question; do we really know how to use a ladder properly when cleaning gutters?
In our last blog about cleaning gutters, a website was provided that had a checklist on basic ladder safety.
In case you have not had the time to access that information you will find some of the key elements of ladder safety below.
- Wear clean slip-resistant shoes. Shoes with leather soles are not considered to be sufficiently slip-resistant.
- Before using a ladder, inspect it to make sure it’s in good working condition. Ladders with loose or missing parts or that sway or lean to the side must be rejected.
- If the ladder is not level install leg levelers to keep it properly balanced.
- The Duty Rating of the ladder must be greater than the total weight of the climber and all other tools/objects placed on the ladder.
- The length of the ladder must be sufficient so the climber does not have to stand on the top rung or step.
- The ladder must be placed on firm level ground without any type of slippery condition present at either the base or top support points.
- Only one person at a time on a ladder.
- Do not place a ladder in front of doors that can be opened toward the ladder. The door must be blocked open, locked or guarded.
- Read the safety information labels on the ladder. The climber is not considered qualified or adequately trained to use the ladder until familiar with this information.
- Never jump or slide down from a ladder or climb more than one rung or step at a time.
Ladders are tools so many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of ladders. For more safety tips regarding ladders go to http://www.laddersafety.org/basicladdersafety.aspx. And another good website to access is http://www.cpwr.com/pdfs/Sheet%203.pdf.
But if the thought of incorporating all these safety measures about climbing ladders makes you dizzy, it would be advisable to call someone to take care of any maintenance matters or repairs that are needed. When it comes to keeping gutters clean, installing Advantage Gutter Guard™will relieve you from cleaning gutters forever. We have been protecting homeowners for over 15 years. You may call us at 816-246-7881 for an appointment to receive a free, no-obligation estimate.