Find out what causes most ladder accidents and how to avoid getting hurt. Also get tips on choosing the right ladder for the job and wearing a toolbelt.
TOM: Well, one of the most common home improvement tools is a ladder; unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous. In fact, over 160,000 people go to the emergency room every year as a result of ladder accidents. Here with some tips to help keep us safe is a guy who knows all about tools, Kevin O’Connor  from This Old House .
KEVIN: Hey, Tom.
TOM: Now staying safe on a ladder  really doesn’t have to be that complicated but there’s an awful lot of people that are being dangerous.
KEVIN: No, it doesn’t have to be complicated and the tips are really simple. The first one you start you with is that it is important that you choose the right ladder for the job. Think about the ladder’s weight rating and its length. Because you know, most ladder accidents are caused by overreaching.
Also, look for a ladder that has levelers and stabilizers because they can make a big difference. And here’s one thing: never use a metal ladder near power lines.
TOM: Now every time I go up a ladder, I always think of what I forgot down below, but wearing a tool belt is probably a pretty safe tip as well.
KEVIN: Yeah, absolutely, because you want to keep your hands free. You want your hands to be holding onto the ladder, not holding onto your tools; so that’s a great tip.
And if you want more great tips about ladder safety, you can go to our videos on ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: Kevin O’Connor from This Old House, great tip. Thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.
KEVIN: My pleasure.
LESLIE: You know, those are all really good tips but also keep in mind, if you have a project where you need to get up on a ladder, why not invite a friend over. They can actually help you to do your project safely. They’ll anchor the bottom, they’ll let you know if you’re climbing too high, they’ll hand you the tools that you drop. It’s always good to do home improvement projects with a buddy anyway.
TOM: Or they could just videotape your fall and put it up on YouTube.
LESLIE: Or if you don’t have a ladder, you can always get on their back. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
TOM: Well, if you’d like more information from our friend Kevin O’Connor, you can watch him on This Old House, which is brought to you by Cub Cadet. Cub Cadet – you can’t get any better.