There are a number of different kinds of ladders available for purchase on the general market, and you can fall off of any of them. They can be fixed or portable, stepladders and straight- extension ladders. The list of the different “bells and whistles” they contain vary widely. They may be manufactured from metal, plastic, wood or fiberglass and accordingly can be light, medium or heavy-just check out your local Home Depot or Lowes. They can be two steps high or go as high as a forty-foot or longer extension-type ladder. Many households purchase the two or three step ladder for housework inside the home. Metal ladders are generally sturdy and lightweight, but remember to keep a metal ladder away from contacting electrical wires and power sources as this can be extremely dangerous! Depending upon the use of the ladder, lower ends of a wooden ladder should be equipped with slip-resistant pads/surfaces—especially if the ladder is to be placed on a hard or slick surface. Likewise, if the ladder is to be leaned against a surface, then the upper ends of the side rails should be padded. Do not forget this!
Where you keep a ladder is just as important on how you use your ladder. It should be kept dry and maintained in a good workable condition. You should periodically check the ladder that you use for cracks, loose rungs and sharp places. Sometimes latent defects are hard to detect, so take a close look at your ladder. Don’t paint the ladder, because you may well be hiding a defect with the paint. When you are on a ladder, don’t try to reach too far to the right or left as this can cause balance issues. Your belt buckle should never get beyond the edge of a side rail, as the ladder may move in the opposite direction while you are on it. You should keep your hands on the side rails and not on the rungs when climbing a ladder as the rungs are not designed for your hands; they are designed for your feet. If you need small tools, keep them in your pocket or in a tool belt, but not in your hands as you climb the ladder as this can too cause balancing issues. You might even place everything you need in a bucket and raise it with a rope, but don’t ever raise a power tool by its power cord in the same manner. Likewise, if a power tool is plugged into an electrical outlet, don’t raise it while it is electrically operative. Finally, you subject yourself to a far greater risk by using a chair, a stack of boxes, a barrel or any kind of makeshift ladder-use a safe ladder whenever you need one!
Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Slip and Fall Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Premise Liability Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of slip and fall or premise liability accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The ULTIMATE California Slip & Fall Injury Legal Survival Guide, and don't forget about The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer, and he has eight other publications that might fit your need. The books are extremely information and they are full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights. They normally sell for around $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident! Take advantage of free legal information to help you make an informed decision on your specific slip and fall injury case!