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Set high standards for ladder safety this long weekend

16 April 2019

The Easter long weekend can be a time to hop into odd jobs around the home, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has some important tips for ladder safety.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner said those looking to get their DIY checklist off the ground should choose the right ladder for the job and make sure they are using it safely.

“When you fetch your ladder out of the shed make sure you check it for warping, rust and corrosion. Always make sure you read any safety warnings, and follow all manufacturer’s safe use advice,” Mr Turner said.

“If you need a new ladder, remember to be safety wise and buy one that meets the voluntary Australian standard. The ladder should be labelled, but ask the retailer if you’re not sure.

“Always use a ladder that has non-slip feet, and is the right height for the job.

“Never stand above the second step from the top, and don’t over-reach, as this could cause you to over-balance and fall.

“Also be very careful if you are pulling items from shelves or gutters, and carry any tools in a tool belt to ensure you are able to keep a good hold of the ladder with at least one hand.

“Place your ladder on a firm, flat surface, engage all locks and braces, and wear enclosed, slip-resistant shoes.”

Mr Turner said, according to a 2017 report  by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, falling from a ladder was the most common cause of DIY-related injury in or around the home.

“Injuries from ladders happen, so avoid using a ladder if you are alone or cannot get help in the case of an accident,” Mr Turner said.

Further information on ladder safety, including a link to order a free brochure with a safety sticker for your ladder, is available via the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.