You’re at the top of your game, and everything is going well. That’s when tragedy strikes: you lose your footing, slip off the ladder and go crashing through the ceiling. No matter how careful you are, accidents like this can happen to anyone, even people with years of experience in their field.

The good news? Luckily, they’re relatively easy to prevent. By following these simple tips, you can make your previous ladder incident the last.

-Choice of the ladder:

The most common cause of ladder accidents is using an unsuitable ladder. Next to power tools, ladders are the most dangerous tools in the home. The fact is that more than half of ladder accidents happen to people who use a ladder properly, so the best way to avoid them is to make sure you always use the right one for the job. There are several reasons why this happens:

-Before you climb:

Check the ladder to make sure you’ll be able to maintain your footing without slipping. If you’re using a stepladder, ensure that it’s sturdy and secure. Do not climb if there is a risk of slipping off or falling. If climbing on the top of your truck or step, ensure that there are no obstacles in the way that will cause you to lose your balance.

-Before going up:

Always tie and fasten any loose items on the ladder or stepladder to ensure they don’t get pulled down during an accident. If the ladder is not securely locked into place, ensure that it is firmly secured by using your knees, hands, head or feet to hold it in place while you climb. Never carry heavy items while using a ladder or stepladder. Making sure that your equipment is lightweight will ensure that you won’t become overwhelmed while carrying it. Ensure that the ladder is locked securely into place before climbing on it, as it could slip and cause you to fall off. 

-On the ladder:

Take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions on the ladder or stepladder for how to climb. Once you’ve established your footing on the ladder, ensure that you don’t put any more weight on your feet than necessary. Don’t try to rush through this step; take your time and make sure that you know exactly what you’re doing. 

-When descending:

Make sure you’re on the sturdy side of the ladder before you begin to climb down. When on an uneven surface, make sure that both your feet are firmly planted on the ground before beginning to climb. Always place your foot directly in front of you, as stepping over your lower feet can cause you to lose your balance and fall off the ladder. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed on both feet when climbing down a ladder or stepladder. Always make sure that the ladder goes down first when you’re descending. Never try to descend a ladder until you’ve made sure that it’s stable and secure. 

After Using the Ladder:

Make sure that you take the time to return the ladder to its original place. Always replace all equipment used in conjunction with a ladder or stepladder back where it belongs. Never leave a stepladder unattended, as it may be taken out of place by others who do not know its safety significance. 

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If you follow these simple steps, you can be sure that you’re not the next person to end up in the emergency room, thanks to a slip and fall. There are hundreds of preventable accidents that can happen to anyone, including those who have had years of experience in their field. If something like this has happened to you or someone you know, make sure they heed these tips so as not to become the following statistic.