In a meeting of ladders and electricity, ladders are the losers nearly every time. Ladders are excellent tools for cleaning gutters, painting, pressure-washing, repairing roofing and siding, trimming trees, and hanging holiday lights. Many times, however, we find ourselves using or carrying a ladder near electrical lines. If you are using a ladder near electricity, remember these tips:
- Before picking up a ladder, check the area for potential hazards, especially electrical lines. Take a mental picture of how far or close you will need to carry your ladder and work to keep your ladder away from the power lines.
- Always keep your ladder and body at least 10 feet from power lines. If you think you may be too close, you probably are. Move back and stay away.
- Never use aluminum or metallic ladders in the vicinity of powerlines.
- Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Remember that tree branches can contain water and can conduct electricity. Never lean your ladder against a tree or branch that is touching or near a power line.
- Wooden ladders can and will conduct electricity, especially if they are wet, dirty or damaged. Fiberglass ladders only provide minimum protection.
- Look up! Avoid dropping tools or materials onto power lines and especially be aware of what is above you.