Every year, about 500, 000 Germans crash on and with household leaders. Bruises, sprained toes, broken bones or a concussion are often the painful consequences that sufferers usually feel after weeks. But only about 5% of all drops of ladders are due to defects in the device, usually wrong behavior is the cause. Time pressure and hustle and bustle are particularly treacherous: "Hang up the curtains quickly before the children have left school and lunch has to be on the table". There are also physical and psychological factors such as lack of concentration or carelessness. The German Board of Trustees for Security in Home and Recreation eV (DSH) therefore advises to schedule enough time for all chores and rather to interrupt work than to finish it under pressure.
Further tips for safe handling of ladders:
- Regularly check household and garden ladders for safety defects, especially at the hinges and spreaders.
- Rubber or plastic feet of aluminum ladders must sit properly on the spar, otherwise the ladder may slip away. To check the ladder now and then turn around: Often the foot looks good from the top and from the side, while it is already damaged at the bottom.
- Immediately disassemble ladders with signs of wear or wooden ladders with rotten spots and replace them with new models.
- Select the ladder to match the working height. Normally a ladder with three to four steps is enough for the housework.
- Place ladders only where no unpleasant surprises can happen, for example, not directly behind unlocked doors or on busy roads.
- Make sure the ladder is safely leveled. Before you climb on a stepladder, the spreader should be locked.
- Avoid life-threatening balancing acts on ladders. Rather, get off the ladder once more to move it a little further than bending too far to the left or right.
- Remove paints and wallpaper pastes from running boards, rungs and spars with warm water and a firm brush.
- Wear strong, closed shoes with a tread sole.
- Store ladders and steps so that you can easily reach them at any time.
And last but not least, the reward: After a strenuous spring cleaning, you have earned at least a bunch of flowers or a relaxing movie night.