Ladder Safety at Home

March 1, 2019 - spacelift

Ladder Safety Inspires SpaceLift™ attic lift

Ladder safety inspired the SpaceLift™ attic lift.  That scary attic ladder or folding stairs is one of the biggest impediments to getting more use of your attic storage space. Rightfully so, carrying items of any size in and out of the attic is a home safety concern. Ladder safety guidelines say you must always maintain three points of contact with the ladder. See photo. That’s impossible when carrying a storage container or box. This blog offers safety tips and warnings. SpaceLift™ Products posted it now because March is ladder safety month, so named by The American Ladder Institute.

Half a million people fall from ladders annually. Most, 97 percent, of those accidents occur at home or on farms. About 400 prove fatal. Worse yet, ladder-related injuries are increasing, as much as 50 percent over the course of a 16-year study. (Statistics are from Liberty Mutual – Research Institute for Safety as quoted in Industrial Safety & Hygiene News.)

Attic Ladder Safety Concerns

McGarry and Madsen Home Inspection of Gainesville and The Villages, Florida, offers an excellent blog post, “What are the Warning Signs of a Dangerous Attic Pull-Down Ladder?” They write that, “Even if an attic ladder is correctly installed and maintained it can be dangerous if used improperly. Manufacturers always specify that you face the ladder when on it, which is the way most people go up the stairs. But trying to descend the stairs facing away from it – perhaps because you are carrying a large object – is unsafe and the cause of numerous falls. Have a second person at the base of the ladder to hand larger items down to.

“Also, most ladders are rated for a 250-pound load (total weight of you and anything you are holding). Exceeding the rated load can cause failure, typically of the treads.”

Read all 10 attic ladder safety tips on McGarry and Madsen’s blog here. It has excellent photos of some truly egregious attic ladder examples.

The good news is there are precautions you can take to reduce ladder risk, says the American Ladder Institute. It asserts, “every step matters . . . make sure you’re putting the right foot forward.” (OSHA ladder safety publications are available on the internet for work applications.)

Keep 3 Points of Contact

The National Safety Council (NSC) offers pointers to increase ladder safety at home or work. A key criteria is “Climb with Care.” Frequent use leads to complacency. “Make sure every time you step on a ladder you are mindful of the task at hand,” the NSC advises.

A very important precaution is always keeping three points of contact with the ladder or stairs at all time. Hold with two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. Ladder manufacturers, the American Ladder Institute, and others echo this.

For attic stairs that is a big challenge. Most of us are using our attic ladder or stairs to carry all sorts of items in and out of storage. Carrying anything makes it nearly impossible to have one or both hands free for climbing. Most of us are probably guilty of holding a storage container ahead of us with two hands, using only our feet to balance. Your ladder stability is seriously compromised.

These concerns extend even to those of us with permanent attic stairways, or those who use their basements for storage too. Carrying anything of substance on stairs – or ladders – is inherently risky. It can be hard to see your feet, balance the load, plus hold onto the ladder or stair railing. We’ve all been there, right?

view from attic ladder safety

Ladder Safety Inspired SpaceLift™ Attic Lift

Concern about attic ladder accidents inspired inventor Dave Berliner to create his unique attic elevator. It is for cargo, not people. It carries up to 200 pounds and 24+ cubic feet per trip.

A SpaceLift™ attic lift works in conjunction with your attic access ladder, pull-down stairs or permanent stairs. The SpaceLift carries the load so you need worry only about yourself going up and down the attic ladder.

It’s a simple concept elegantly executed. SpaceLift is like a mini freight elevator for your attic (or basement). It’s a computer-controlled, motorized dumbwaiter carrying storage items between your living space and your attic at three-inches-per-second. It is push button easy.

Typically installed next to, or near, your attic access ladder or stairs, the SpaceLift fits neatly between the attic floor joists. Nothing protrudes above the attic floor. The attic elevator bottom is a panel that neatly snugs up to your ceiling. Its exclusive low-profile design allows more flexibility in cargo and where you place the lift. Because it pulls evenly on all four corners, SpaceLift has no vertical height restriction. You can stack your best storage containers high to make fewer trips. You can transport something tall like a Christmas tree box.

When attic storage access is easy, convenient and safe, you naturally use it more often. Claim more living space. Gain more storage space. Reduce clutter. Our customers love their lifts.

It is truly easier to see in action than to explain with words. Visit our homepage for a video of the SpaceLift in action.

SpaceLIft attic lift used in tandem with attic stairs

Resources:

Industrial Safety & Hygiene News:

https://www.ishn.com/articles/106830-000-falls-from-ladders-annually-97-percent-occur-at-home-or-on-farms

McGarry and Madsen Home Inspection

http://www.mcgarryandmadsen.com/Blog/Entries/2015/1/11_What_are_the_warning_signs_of_a_dangerous_attic_pull-down_ladder.html

OSHA Ladder Safety Publications

https://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/publication.athruz?pType=Industry&pID=463

March National Ladder Safety Month

https://www.laddersafetymonth.com/About/National-Ladder-Safety-Month

National Safety Council

https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/safety-checkup/ladders