Whether you need to get up on to your roof to clear snow and ice or take down your Christmas lights, you need to be extremely vigilant when working with ladders.
Removing snow and ice from your roof and gutters is very important to prevent home damage.
But, according to statistics from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 41,000 people are sent to hospital each year from falls from ladders – many as a result of falling from roofs.
To make matters worse, it is much easier to fall in bad weather because it is extremely easy to slip.
In contrast to smaller accidents, falls from ladders can result in serious injuries and deaths.
ROSPA says that these accidents are mainly caused by a lack of knowledge about using roof ladders or standing on the roof itself.
DIY enthusiasts should make an effort to use fall protection for any roof, including flat ones.
The following safety procedures should always be followed when working with ladders on your roof in winter:
- When on a ladder, use slip resistant footwear.
- Check and clear the ladder of any oil, grease or ice.
- Face the ladder at all times while climbing it, keeping both hands firmly gripping the sides.
- Always keep three points of contact on the ladder at all times.
- Never use metal ladders if electricity is involved – ever!
- You must extend roof ladders three or four feet above the roof.
- Securely attach your ladders at the support point.
- Use ladder accessories to prevent slipping at the bottom. Ladder feet are an effective option.
- Never work on the top three rungs.
- Don’t unbalance the ladder by over reaching.
- Put the ladder at the correct angle, following the provided instructions.