Do You Know the Dangers of Spring Cleaning?
According to the U.S. National Safety Council, falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries (oftentimes resulting in serious neck and back pain) and the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, falls account for approximately 9 million visits to the emergency room every year. So be careful before you climb up that ladder or into your attic this spring!
Slips, Trips and Falls Can Result in Neck and Back Pain
As you dust, clean, organize and beautify your home this spring, be mindful of all of the places and ways you can accidentally slip, trip or fall – and sustain an injury that results in neck and back pain. The most common locations for falls around your house and yard are in doorways, on ramps, in cluttered hallways, areas of heavy traffic, uneven surfaces, wet areas, unstable surfaces, on ladders and on stairs.
Tips for Preventing Falls
The U.S. National Safety Council has a list of suggestions for preventing falls around your home and property:
- Clean up all spills immediately
- Stay off freshly mopped floors
- Move all cords out of the way (phone wires, cell phone charger cords, cable wires, electrical wires, etc.)
- Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats underneath to keep them from slipping
- Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles
- Arrange furniture to offer wide open walking pathways
- Keep drawer and cabinet doors closed
- Install handrails on all staircases on both sides
- Remove clutter and trip hazards (paper, boxes, books, clothes, toys and shoes) from stairs and walkways
- Install child-safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
- Install adequate lighting inside and outside
- Adjust gutter downspouts to divert water away from walkways
- Repair walkways
- Never stand on chairs, tables or surfaces with wheels
Tips for Ladder Safety
Here is a list of solid safety tips for using ladders from the U.S. National Safety Council:
- Always keep at least three points of contact with the ladder (i.e. two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand)
- Place the base of the ladder on a firm and solid surface
- A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height
- When you climb, always face the ladder and grip the rungs, not the side rails
- Climb down a ladder one rung at a time
- Do not climb with tools in your hands – use a tool belt
- Keep your body between the ladder side rails when climbing
- Do not lean or overreach – reposition the ladder closer to the work instead
- Tie down a ladder when using it outdoors and do not use it in windy or inclement weather
If you sustain an injury due to a fall, seek medical attention right away. Even minor injuries can result in serious neck or back pain so be sure to see a pain management specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.