Ladder Safety In The Winter

We’ve seen a cluster of falls from the roof and/or ladders outdoors in the last week. And yes, it is very snowy in Minnesota, but ladder falls can happen to the best of us, even indoors (watch the QVC video above).

There have been five admissions to Regions Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center for adults after people fell from the roof in St. Paul since Christmas eve. All of them had serious injuries. Two died, and three sustained fractures involving elbow, spine or pelvis. I’ve seen lots of similar injuries after Christmas, when it’s time to take the lights down.

The St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections released a statement that people should use “severe caution” while removing ice dams and snow from the roof. They go on to recommend that you “call a professional if you do not feel safe performing the work yourself.”

The problem with this statement is that the men (the majority of those injured) who climb up onto the roof do feel safe clearing the roof! They believe that this is something that they are quite capable of doing themselves. 

I recommend that we all take this statement one step further. Since everything is more hazardous outside this time of year (ice and snow on the ground and the roof), any homeowner who believes that their roof needs service should contact a professional to take care of it. If a fall occurs, you will miss some of the holiday season, and possibly permanently!

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