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Safety tips for hanging those lights this season

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November 30, 2016 - 11:53 AM

As the calendar turns over to December, many thousands of British Columbia workers and homeowners will be decorating homes for the holidays and WorkSafeBC is reminding everyone to undertake this work safely, especially when using ladders. 

“Ladders are a frequent source of injury in B.C., since 2006 there have been more than 9,300 work-related injuries due to ladder falls in B.C. and 17 work-related deaths,” says Dan Strand, WorkSafeBC Director of Prevention Field Services. “Everyone can reduce their risk of injury by selecting the right ladder for the job, ensuring that it's in good condition and taking the time to set up and use safely,” says Strand.

More than 930 workers in British Columbia are injured each year due to falls from ladders, so before putting up holiday lights and decorations at heights, WorkSafeBC reminds everyone -- employers, workers and homeowners, to follow these straightforward safety tips.

  • Using ladders safely
  • Use the right ladder for the job – step ladders and straight ladders are used in different situations
  • Ensure the ladder is in good condition and strong enough for the job
  • Never hang lights from the top two rungs or steps of a ladder
  • Keep body weight between the ladder supports
  • Wear slip-proof footwear
  • When climbing, face the ladder and use both hands to grip the side rails or rungs
  • Ensure three points of contact with the ladder at all times

While using ladders can be hazardous regardless of a person’s age, serious injuries due to falls from ladders are most prevalent among British Columbia workers aged 25 to 44 years.

For more information about how to stay safe when using ladders this holiday season, visit the WorkSafeBC ladder safety webpage, or watch WorkSafeBC’s latest ladder safety video.

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