The risks are ever present when cleaning gutters since you are off the ground, around electrical wires, possibly walking on a slippery roof and dealing with slippery messy stuff from the gutters themselves. Be cautious and vigilant when cleaning gutters. Accidents usually are from lack of attention to the dangers that are present. If the gutters are higher than you are comfortable going up to just don’t do it. Hire some one.
Famous picture of ladders set up wrong
Pick a ladder that has enough height so you can comfortably reach were you need to get to clean the gutters. Being out of position so that you are leaning and stretching is not the safe way to clean the gutters. Always have three points of contact with the ladder at all times. If tools are required carry them in a bucket or bag that will not get tangled in the ladder as you climb.
Clothing for working on a ladder
Wear hard sole non slip shoes. Try standing on a ladder with bear feet for just a minute will make the point very clearly. Support for your feet when working on a ladder seems basic but slipping or stumbling on a rung as you climb can cause your leg to tangle in the ladder and combined with a fall can create a devestating leg break or worse. Just the fatige factor to your feet should be reason enough to have good work boots on as you both climb and stand on the ladder during the gutter cleaning that can be an hour or more.
Gloves can be the greatest safety device to prevent injuries preventing the ability to do things. Hand injuries are the leading cause of work place down time. Do not let a home project be the same to your hands. Pinch points on ladder when raising and lowering the ladder can do a lot of damage to your hands.
Lose fitting clothing should be avoided. Tangling clothing with the ladder can snag and through you off balance. Or worse yet create a fall or strangulation. If it is cold wear clothing that will be comfortable so you are not rushing and taking chances.
Stay away from over head wires certainly this is an extreme situation
Be careful!, look up for wires at all times. Remember to keep ladders, tools, equipment, and yourself and anything connected to you a minimum of 10 feet away from overhead power lines. The looks of electrical power lines going into a home can be deceiving. Over-head power lines are not insulated to prevent electrical shocks. What may appear to be insulation is weatherproofing material. Wires should never be contacted or touched under ANY circumstances. Most ladders are not insulated enough to prevent shocks in all cases. Be carful!
Especially when cleaning gutters from the roof be careful of getting up too fast. Doing this some times creats dizzyness and if close to the edge this could be fatal. This is just another thing to always have in mind in order to be carefull and safe in cleaning gutters.
Age and ladder injuries
According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission“There was a higher population-based rate of injury among persons 65 and older than among persons 20-64. Persons 65 and older accounted for half of all ladder deaths reported to CSPC. In 2002 , this population accounted for 16% of emergency room – treated injuries involving ladders, but wer e 39% of those hospitalized for ladder related injuries.” To quantify this in 2002 the number of ER treated injuries from Ladders and step stools was 28,510. I would submit that the lower to climb the more accidents, but the higher the climb the greater the injury. Need some one to clean your gutters for you? Call (978) 302-0572