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Worksite Safety and The Homeowner

I witnessed a child in the 3–5-year-old age-group try and climb a ladder while one of my staff was on a customer’s roof doing a siding repair to a dormer. I rounded the corner as the little one moved from the second to the third step. Mom was proud of his curiosity, and that he was not scared, and she wanted to see how far he would go. I had to ask her to remove the child from the ladder.

There are inherent risks in using saws, nail guns, ladders, and other tools of the trades. This is why the professionals wear gloves, safety glasses, steel toed shoes and the like. Nobody wants to hurt themselves, but even with safety training, personal protection gear and self-preservation instincts, home service professionals occasionally get injured. For a homeowner and their family, who do not have safety training or protective gear, the risks of injury are real.

If you have a professional into your home or business, running a safe job is their responsibility. As such, they have every right to ask you, your pets, and your children to stay clear of where they are working; and they appreciate your help in making this happen. Homeowners and their home service professionals must work as a team to keep everybody safe. That means keeping young Tarzan off the ladder.

Also keep in mind that children can be curious at any age. A ladder leaning against a home can be very inviting to an adolescent with a sense of adventure and a desire to view the world from up high. The best way to keep the average teenager off a ladder is to ask them to clean the gutters; but that is a story for another day.

I am all for homeowners doing what they can do, and what they enjoy, and calling in professionals for things they cannot do; or do not enjoy. There is a certain satisfaction in accomplishing a home improvement. If you can do it safely, I encourage you to give is a shot. This puts safety squarely on your shoulders.

Know how to properly setup a ladder. Wear glasses, hearing protection and gloves. Know that a dull blade is a dangerous blade and either sharpen it or replace it. Know that the right tool for the job is the safest tool for the job. I can go on, but the point is to plan for safety as you plan your project.

The pride and satisfaction of a job well done is not quite as nice when you end up with an eye patch, bandage, or crutches. Be safe.