16 Ladder Safety Tips When Cleaning Gutters

Climbing ladders

Ladder safety is crucial when it comes to cleaning gutters. Gutter cleaning can be a dangerous task, as it often involves working at heights and using a ladder. Falls from ladders are a leading cause of injuries and deaths in the construction and maintenance industries. It is important to take the necessary precautions, follow the working at height regulations, and follow proper ladder safety guidelines to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Here is step-by-step instructions on how to safely use a ladder for gutter cleaning, including positioning, and maintenance, as well as tips for working at heights.

  1. First, inspect the ladder prior to use to ensure it is in good condition and free of any damage such as loose or missing rungs, broken side rails, or other structural issues.
  2. Before using the ladder, evaluate the area where it will be placed to ensure it is stable and level, clear of any obstacles that could cause the ladder to slip or tip over.
  3. Position the ladder at a safe angle, should be 75 degrees – 1 in 4 rule (1 unit out for 4 units up)
  4. Make sure the ladder is on a non-slip surface, and secure it in place with ladder levellers, or ladder stabilisers if necessary.
  5. Before climbing the ladder, ensure you are wearing suitable shoes which are fastened correctly, and ideally with non slip, oil resistant soles.
  6. Always face the ladder when climbing up or down, and keep your body centered between the side rails for better balance.
  7. Keep three points of contact on the ladder at all times, two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
  8. Do not exceed the weight limit for the ladder, and make sure to evenly distribute weight and tools.
  9. Do not lean over or extend your body beyond the side rails of the ladder, keep your belt buckle within the ladder side rails.
  10. Do not use the top rungs of the ladder as a step, they are not designed for that purpose.
  11. Always have a helper hold the base of the ladder or use a ladder stabilizer to provide extra support.
  12. When working at heights, Install an anchor point to the wall, and secure the ladder to the structure if possible using appropriate fall protection equipment such as harness and lanyard.
  13. Use a ladder hook or a device such as a ladder limb to secure your bucket freeing up your hands so you can maintain 3 points of contact on your ladder.
  14. Before cleaning the gutter, put on a pair of nitrile gloves underneath some good quality waterproof work gloves to keep your hands clean and dry.
  15. Keep work to short durations (maximum 30 minutes)
  16. When you are finished using the ladder, carefully climb down and make sure the ladder is properly stored in a secure location, away from high traffic areas.

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