How safe are you when Christmas decorating?

Make sure that ladder is not a stairway to heaven

The Christmas season is upon us and, for many, that means putting up decorations inside and outside their homes.

That's why WorkSafeBC is reminding workers, employers and the public to use ladders safely.

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Last year, according to a WorkSafeBC press release, there were 1,138 accepted claims as a result of falls from ladders across all industries in B.C.

"Falls from ladders are a common source of injury in B.C., particularly at this time of year when winter weather conditions pose hazards," said Barry Nakahara, the agency's senior manager, prevention field services. "Everyone can reduce the risk of injury by choosing the right ladder for the job, ensuring it's in good working condition, and taking the time to set it up and use safely."

WorkSafeBC urges workers and the public to use ladders safely this holiday season by following these safety tips:

• Select the appropriate ladder for the job and ensure it is long enough to extend one metre above the upper landing.

• Inspect the ladder to ensure it is in good working condition before each use.

• Always set up the ladder on a firm, level surface to ensure it is stable during use.

• Maintain three points of contact while climbing a ladder: two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot.

• Wear slip-proof footwear.

• Don't carry heavy or bulky objects while climbing up or down a ladder.

• Wind, rain and snow may pose additional hazards that need to be mitigated.

• Check for power lines and ensure a minimum distance of three metres can be maintained at all times before starting work.

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