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A landscape photo of Moose Lake

Be safe hanging holiday lights

The holidays are about here, and that means it's time to drag out the lights and get ready for that annual competition of seeing which business or home can make its electric meter turn the fastest during the last half of December.

You can almost taste that great Christmas dinner just thinking about it. But how do you see yourself or your holiday-spirited employee who loves to put up the lights on Dec. 25? Happily watching the family opening gifts, or trying not to hit anything with a new holiday-colored leg cast? Cast? Yes, cast. You know - the one they put on in the emergency room after you or your employee fell off the top of the step ladder while putting up holiday lights.

How do we prevent that unhappy scene and stay healthy and active during and after the holidays? Simple, don’t put up lights. Or, if that doesn’t work for you, just follow some simple and common sense rules when working with ladders.

Many of you will be working off step ladders, so make sure those spreaders are locked fully open. Never step on the top platform or the top step, and never lean it against a wall. For a straight or extension ladder, follow the 4-to-1 rule: The base should be 1 foot away from the building for every 4 feet of ladder length up to the resting point of the ladder. No matter what kind of ladder you are using, always face the ladder and never over-reach.

Please take a moment and follow the following links to learn what else you need to know about ladder safety in order to ensure that your holiday season is fun, safe and cast-free.

Portable Ladder Safety
Purchase and Proper Use of Ladders

Want more information? Additional reference material can be accessed from the Links to safety sites section of the "Safety programs and Risk Management Information" portion of this web site.

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The material presented on this website is provided only as a general information guide and is not intended as legal advice.