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Holiday Lighting Ladder Safety

Last week, a professional window cleaner tragically died after falling from a roof while working for his holiday lighting business.

Each year, thousands of Americans end up in the emergency room around the holidays due to falls when hanging holiday lights or decorations. While most are homeowners, professionals are not immune. Take a look at the statistics::

  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are an average of 200 decorating-related injuries per day during the holiday season, most of which are falls.
  • While broken bones are the most common types of injury, falls can be fatal. In 2018, there were five holiday-decorating related deaths.
  • In 2017, there were more than 18,000 people who went to the ER due to holiday decorating accidents. (CPSC)
  • Around 165,000 Americans require medical treatment for ladder-related falls each year (CDC Study).
  • Men are 40% more likely than women to be treated for ladder-related injuries (CDC).
  • Injury severity increases with age.

Holiday lighting has become a popular add-on service for many window cleaners, particularly because they already have ladders on hand. However, it’s important to remember that working from a ladder in winter comes with additional risks. Wet or icy conditions and condensation make ladders and roofs more slippery. Blustery winds can cause ladders to be less stable.

If you’re going to be on a ladder during the winter — or any time of year for that matter — it’s important to do it safely. We carry a number of ladder-related products to help keep you safe.

Our Recommended Ladder Safety Products

If you’re going to use a ladder, make sure you implement best practices by doing it correctly and following OSHA’s guidelines. (See bottom of this page.) In addition to maintaining three points of contact (generally two feet and one hand), remember that ladder placement is also vital to safety. Here are some products we recommend to help you stay safe and to make your holiday lighting job easier:

Sky Genie Ladder Hook: The hook attaches your a rigger’s belt, which then attaches to the ladder rung. This allows you a third point of contact – complying with OSHA’s ladder safety guidelines – when you can’t hold on with both hands. When combined with the Ladder Lock System, you can even work with both hand off the ladder when needed.

Ladder Lock System: A simple-to-use safety tool that helps stabilize your ladder at the top. Ladders should be placed so that there is 3-feet of ladder extended above the roof line. The Ladder Lock System’s latch connects with a rung near the gutter, and a clamp connects to the gutter to secure the ladder against it. The ladder lock’s stability is important because you will be reaching and don’t want to over reach and cause the ladder to lean.

Ladder Standoff: Having a standoff allows you to rest your weight on the roof line rather than gutter, and helps stabilize your ladder for safety. T he standoff is often set against the roof, just above the gutter, so that the gutter is protected from the weight of the person on the ladder.

Leg Levelers: It’s very rare to find a completely flat surface in a yard, which is why leg levelers are so important. They help you get even footing before climbing that ladder. Ladder levelers are valuable additions for both sectional and extension ladders alike.

Leg levelers mount easily to all ladders with three bolts. Replace existing feet with heavy-duty swiveling steel feet with rubber pads. Extends simply by pressing on lower foot pedal, then releases easily. Simply press the release lever, which causes the leg to draw back up.

Vee Groove Ladder: The Vee Groove on metallic sectional ladders allows you to work with your ladder placed against corners.