Working at height is the single biggest killer in the construction industry with ladders being particularly dangerous.
The risk of falling from a ladder dramatically increases when the user/operator does not have sufficient training, and/or has a lack of experience using ladders and ladder safety equipment.
Unsuitable Gutter Cleaning Equipment
Many homeowners do not have a suitable ladder or ladder safety equipment to allow them to access the roof line and clean out the gutters safety. Using old, untested ladders pose a real risk to the untrained eye.
As many falls from ladders are from user error, sometimes falls from ladders can be caused by other people, the weather and even wildlife.
Other people, children and pets can easily knock ladders causing the user to lose balance and fall if not tied off and isolated appropriately.
Birds that may be nesting in the eves could be spooked and flurry out if disturbed while you are cleaning out the gutters which can startle and knock you off balance while working on a ladder.
The same can be said for bees and wasps nests, which may not be obvious until disturbed.
Infections from Bacteria
The next risk involved with gutter cleaning may not be obvious, but the risk is high and if it happens it could be extremely dangerous. Gutters can contain unpleasant debris crawling with a soup of bacteria. Bird poop, dead birds and insects, rotting leaves and vegetation are just some of the everyday things that are part of the slurry in your gutters. Exposing yourself to this is not recommended without suitable personal protective equipment such as gloves and a mask. Always be careful not to cut your hands while cleaning out gutters and never clean gutters where existing cuts or grazes are present. Bacteria and germs from the gutter debris may enter through open wounds and cause nasty infections that could lead to more serious health problems.
Wikipedia explain “Tetanus is a serious infection affecting the muscles and nervous system and can cause serious breathing problems and can ultimately be fatal. Tetanus is caused by an infection with the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which is commonly found in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. The bacteria generally enter through a break in the skin such as a cut or puncture wound by a contaminated object”.
We always recommend seeking a gutter cleaning expert that should be working with the right tools and equipment, knowledge and expertise to clean out your gutters safety. If you do decide to clean your gutters yourself, we strongly advise you use the correct tools and equipment, wear appropriate PPE and ensure you have somebody competent to assist you.
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