Recently on Facebook a Mosman man complained about a painter wanting to use (and charge for) scaffolding. The complainer thought a ladder would be just as good for painting, and not cost him nearly as much. He was being very brave with the painter’s life!
As a Mosman painter myself I’ve made the decision not to paint exteriors because of the dangers of height.
But I still use a step-ladder inside and when I do I often think of Molly Meldrum.
In 2011 Molly had climbed a ladder to put up Christmas decorations. He fell 3 metres onto concrete stairs, fractured his skull and nearly died. He had metal plates put in his skull, was in a coma and suffered months of amnesia. And it would appear that he has long-term problems resulting from the fall too.
Every year nearly 5000 people in Australia are hospitalised from injuries resulting in ladder falls. Around 20 die. And the vast majority are men over 60.
Only 20% of these falls are work related, meaning of course that 80% of falls are in the home.
So men over 60, who get out the ladder at home to change a lightbulb do some painting need to be very, very careful.
Most of my Mosman Painting clients fit this age profile so I’m very glad to help. But if you are going to use a ladder here are the 10 key ladder safety rules.
1.Make sure the ladder is not damaged.
2.Make sure the ladder base is on firm level surface. No slopes, no soft soil.
3.Make sure your step-ladder is secured into the ‘A’ shape it was designed for.
4.Make sure your extension ladder is secured at the top or bottom or is held firm by another person.
5.Extension ladders should be angled at 1:4. That means the base is 1 metre from the wall for every 4 metres of height.
6.Maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder. 2 hands one foot, 2 feet one hand.
7.Your maximum sideways lean should be as far as your belt buckle.
8.Do not climb higher than the second top rung or step.
9.Face the ladder as you climb down. Don’t climb down as though you were on a set of stairs.
10. Don’t multi-task, rush or carry too much up and down a ladder.
And finally don’t let your pride get the better of you. I’m not as young as I used to be and my balance is not as good. So I use my ladder more slowly and carefully than ever.
There’s no shame in paying an expert who uses a ladder every day to do your repairs or painting. It could save your life.
THE AD – Hi, I’m Tony Richardson, The Tidy Painter. I paint home interiors in Mosman, Cremorne and the Lower North Shore. AND I’m very careful with ladders. If this article has made you think of hiring a ‘ladder aware’ interior painter instead of doing it yourself, lets talk. CLICK HERE
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