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From Habitat magazine - issue 05

Most of us need to use a ladder at some time or another, whether to wash a window, trim an overhanging tree, or simply to clean the gutters. However, taking on even a simple chore on a ladder can result in serious injury, unless you adopt a few commonsense safety procedures.

We have traditionally been a nation of do-it-yourselfers. We tend not to use a tradesperson if we think we can tackle a job on our own. However, if you’re not good with heights and you’re not confident about climbing up a ladder, let alone setting up and then venturing up an extension ladder – then DON’T.

If you can’t afford to pay someone to climb up the ladder and do the job for you, then think laterally about exchanging your own services or skills to get the job done. An offer of an evening’s babysitting or a casserole as a swap with a friend or neighbour for clearing the leaves from a second-storey guttering? Why not?

So, remember:

Extension ladders:

DON’T:

If you fall off a ladder:

Don’t panic. Evaluate the situation as calmly as you can and decide if you’re hurt. If you don’t think that you’ve broken any bones, get up slowly. Even if you are mobile, if you have hit your head, go and get yourself checked out as soon as possible. If you believe an injury has occurred that stops you from standing or walking, shout for help. If you have a cellphone handy call 111 in New Zealand or 000 in Australia, or contact a friend or neighbour for assistance. In fact, always keep your cellphone handy if you are using a ladder when there is no one else around.

words: Sue Reidy
pictures: Lucent* Media


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