With the onset of spring, often comes a renewed zeal to start those home improvement and maintenance jobs.  Its very likely you will be using a ladder to do many of these tasks, but did you know that over 160,000 injuries are reported each year from ladder related accidents?  We don’t want you to be among them, so what are some ways you can stay safe while using a ladder?

Never underestimate the importance of securing your ladder before you use it.  Even if you are not going up very high, you could still seriously injure yourself by not having it in a secure position.  In fact, a large majority of fatal injuries that result from falling off a ladder happen from 10 feet or less. 

Being overly relaxed or too confident when approaching the bottom of the ladder is another big danger.  Make sure you are careful whether you are on the higher rungs or the bottom rung.

It takes a lot of time to have to ascend and descend a ladder just to move it a small amount, but this is not a waste of time.   Overreaching on a ladder, even a small amount, could cost you your life. Take the time to do it.

If you have to position a ladder in front of a door way, ensure the door is locked first or has a warning sign so that no one is in danger.

If you haven’t secured the ladder personally, have a check to make sure its secure first before using it.  Others may not have the same safety standards as you. 

Even if you are someone who frequently uses a ladder, never skip rungs.  Anyone can lose their balance.  

Finally, avoid using a ladder for things like a shelf or ramp.  Only use it for what it is designed for.