Don’t end up like a brain, use this ladder safety tip

Every time I walk in and out of my house, I walk past the scene of an accident that could have been a lot worse than it was. You don’t see a ladder against my house in the photo above. This is because I rarely go on them anymore. Four years ago, I put up a ladder to clean the leaves from my roof. Let’s just say this Black Friday morning did NOT go as planned.

Four years ago, I fell off a ladder and broke my back. It was a beautiful black Friday morning. I was out doing some shopping and headed home to take care of some household chores for the day. One task was to remove some of the remaining sheets from the slope of our roof. I stepped off the ladder as I had done so many times before as an owner. Holly, who was leaving for work when I started, yelled at me “don’t fall and die”. It was a sarcastic saying she gave me every year. I assured him that I was careful. But I made a crucial mistake.

After several stops at the side of my house, I set up my ladder on the sidewalk. Even though my children were at home, I chose to go up without an observer. Big mistake. When my feet were level with the roof of the house, the ladder gave way to the cement surface and I fell. I landed on my feet, but the pressure of the fall fractured my back. The paramedics had to cut my clothes, board me and take me to the hospital by ambulance.

Yes, I broke my back, but it could have been a lot worse. What if I landed on my head or neck? I could have been paralyzed or worse. After months of wearing braces and rehabilitating, I made a full recovery. I was lucky.

As the weather improves this week, many of you are setting up your holiday light shows. If you decide to go up a ladder, do me a favor. Follow all safety precautions and use the buddy system. Have a lookout. It sounds simple, but it could have saved me that sunny November day. As for me, I’ll stick to putting lights in the bushes … on the ground.

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