Ladder Best Practices: Three Points of Contact
Accidents happen, but some incidents can have more serious consequences than others. In 2015 alone, there were more than 150 worker fatalities due to ladder-related incidents in the United States, as well as more than 20,000 nonfatal injuries. It is entirely too easy to misuse a ladder and end up in the emergency room, or worse.
It sounds silly because ladders seem like such simple household tools to use. The fact is, there is a proper way to ensure that you’re as safe as possible while using one, thereby lowering the chance of injury or having to make a costly apartment liability insurance claim.
The Three Points of Contact Rule
Here at EGR insurance, we take safety seriously because we know that safer homes and workplaces are better for the health and financial well-being of everyone involved. That’s why we always encourage clients to use the Three Points of Contact rule when using ladders.
The rule itself is straightforward: When you are using a ladder, three of your four limbs should be in contact with the ladder at all times. That means both of your feet remain on the ladder and you steady yourself with one hand, thereby giving you the best stability and support possible while using the ladder and also lowering the possibility of falling and injuring yourself.
Other Ladder Safety Tips
Of course, there are other ways to maximize your safety while using ladders, many of which work in conjunction with the Three Points of Contact rule. For example:
- Set up the ladder properly. This means placing the legs on solid, even ground so that the ladder doesn’t wobble while you climb it.
- Pay attention to your shoes. Wearing sandals on a ladder is a bad idea, and going barefoot is even worse. Wear clean, supportive shoes while ascending the ladder, and be sure to check the bottoms for mud or any other slippery material that could compromise your feet’s grip on the rungs.
- Center your body. Keep your center of mass in the middle of the ladder rather than leaning too far to one side or another. That can pull the ladder off-balance and cause a fall.
- Keep your hands free. The easiest way to violate the Three Points of Contact rule is to tell yourself that you need two hands for a project rather than just one. If your ladder has slots to leave tools or paint brushes, use them! If not, consider using a tool belt or something similar so that one hand can remain on the rung of the ladder at all times.
On the one hand, your homeowner’s policy or apartment insurance will likely take care of ladder-related injuries in the home, but it’s best to avoid the time and expense of dealing with medical care and rehabilitation by just practicing proper ladder safety in the first place. The professionals at EGR Insurance don’t want you to become an injury statistic, which is why we always push for people to use the Three Points of Contact Rule.
Driving Tips for Sharing the Road with Semi Trucks
As with all frustrating situations, traffic is something that can lead to people making irrational and sometimes dangerous decisions. When they are behind the wheel of an automobile, these types of rash decisions can prove to be even costlier.
It is important for drivers of consumer vehicles to share the road with semi truck drivers, especially when operating in heavily-condensed traffic. The following are a few tips from EGR Insurance to make sure drivers are doing everything they can to avoid incidents with the larger vehicles on the road.
#1 Slow Down
It sounds simple, but many accidents can be prevented if drivers simply slow down when they end up in traffic congestion. Chances of a crash increase exponentially when a vehicle is driving faster than surrounding traffic, and adding semi trucks to the equation can increase the probability of an accident. Go with the flow of traffic because there’s no point of being in a hurry in traffic that you can’t control.
#2 Be Aware of Blind Spots
All four sides of a semi truck are blind spots for drivers, so make sure you are in a place where the driver can see you. The general rule is that if you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, they also can’t see you.
#3 Watch for Work Zones
If you are driving in spring or summer, there is a larger chance that you are going to encounter some traffic, especially on highways and interstates. Keep your eyes peeled for changes in speed limits or shifts in traffic patterns, and reduce your speed if necessary.
#4 Maintain Safe Following Distance
You may not necessarily be in a blind spot, but if you are following a semi truck too closely, you may not be able to slow down in time to adjust to the truck ahead of you if they have to hit the brakes. A car traveling at 60 miles per her hour travels over 500 feet in just six seconds, which is why keeping a safe following distance helps reduce accidents.
#5 Don’t Cut in Front of Semi Trucks
Trucks are heavy and take a long time to come to complete stops, so cutting in front of them quickly when traffic is slowing down can lead to some unwanted accidents. Trucks also take more time to speed back up, so the best time to pass one is after traffic disperses and you’ve got a better chance to accelerate more quickly than they do.
Get an Auto Insurance Quote
While truck drivers are certain to have commercial truck driver insurance that would cover damage, medical, and legal fees in a worst-case scenario, the idea is to avoid any of that ever being necessary. The professionals at EGR insurance can provide both auto insurance for standard drivers and semi truck insurance for those operating big rigs, but everyone’s safety on the road depends on sharing that space and being ultra-aware when traffic tightens up. If you’re a driver near Moville, IA reach out to our insurance experts for a free quote.