Ok, so anyone who follows Strong Life Roofing and Guttering blogs, knows that we are always banging on about roof and ladder safety, especially for the over 50s. But we know that some of you are always going to be climbing up on ladders to clean out guttering, check for broken tiles, or whatever.
So, in the interests of ‘people safety’ we’ve decided to share some of our tips on how to safety work on your roof and guttering.
|Tip one – Tell someone what you’re going to do.
|Only undertake any ‘climbing’ tasks when someone else is in the home to keep an eye on you. If there’s a problem, you need someone who’s able to ring for an ambulance.|
|Tip two – know how to use a ladder||Extension ladders are necessary for climbing up to eaves, guttering or your roof.
They can be extremely tricky to use, so there is a procedure you always need to follow.
1. Always check for danger around the area you’re going to carry the ladder. Connecting with overhead wires can be deadly if you have a ladder in your hands.
2. And if the weather is particularly windy, clean out your guttering on another day – it’s no fun being blown off a roof, or being up on the roof and having the ladder blown away.
3. Wet ladders can be amazingly slippery, so, again, put off the maintenance for another time.
4. And don’t put your ladder up near any doorways, think about what would happen if you’re madly scraping scum out of the guttering and someone opens the door into your ladder.
5. Once you’ve extended the ladder, make doubly sure it is firmly locked.
6. We can’t emphasise this enough – always make sure your ladder is stabilised on a flat surface. You don’t want to be the dill who fell off a ladder because its footing wasn’t secure. And please make sure the ladder is well pivoted against a flat edge of the roof and guttering. Think of it this way, usually ladders don’t fall if you’ve created a stable triangle shape between the ladder’s footings and the guttering. The most stable ratio for ladders is for every four metres your ladder goes up, it needs to be one metre away from the wall
7. Ladders need to be extended far enough above a roof for you to easily climb. Always allow enough room to work, the general rule is that for climbing up onto roofs, you need at least a one meter above the guttering.
|Tip three – always be aware||We know it sounds a bit obvious, but one of the biggest problems that people climbing ladders face is that they get too comfortable on the ladder, or too occupied with their maintenance, and forget that they’re on a ladder. Always remember where you are, and that moving on a ladder isn’t the same as on the ground.|
|Tip four –
use a harness
|Yes, it’s a lot of hassle, yes, they are hard to use, and yes, they stop you from having some of your usual ease of movement – but, be like the professionals, use a harness. Think of it this way, you’re better off putting up with wearing a harness, than ending up in hospital from falling off your roof and guttering. Better Homes and Gardens have a wonderful collect of pictures that demonstrates the correct way to use a safety harness. And while you’ve at it, a wearing a bike helmet is also a really good idea – you’ll only ever get one head, so you need to look after it.|
|Tip five – read the stats||We can imagine that you’re reading this and thinking – hmmmm that’s all a little bit over the top!
But, check out these stats released by the Alfred Hospital in 2014 – over 500 people were admitted to the Alfred Hospital due to ladder falls, in a four year period. 150 of these were reported as ‘major trauma’ incidents, 39% of these were treated by the ICU, and 15 people actually died from their injuries. Makes you stop and think doesn’t it??
|Tip six – call in the professionals||Look, not everyone can be an expert in roof maintenance, so maybe call in a professional roof and guttering maintenance and repair company.
Your life could depend on it.
To arrange a free quote or inspection from one of our team of guttering and roofing experts, phone Strong Life (03) 9310 4455, enquire online, use our live chat service on our website or email email@example.com