Ladder Safety for Arborists

For those of you who work in horticulture or as arborists, this post is for you. Summer and fall are the most common times for injuries in your industry. Each year, more than 1,000 horticulturists are injured on the job. Now, you may be wondering how we can prevent these accidents. One major step in the right direction is to use ladders more safely. Here are a couple of safety tips, specifically for those in this industry.

Level Ground

Before climbing your ladder, make sure the ground is level, using ladder leg levelers when necessary. If you are trimming trees and doing other outside work, the ground will likely be uneven. You can help prevent your ladder from tipping, by either digging out the ground on one side or by using leg levelers.

The Belt Buckle Rule

While on your ladder, never reach outside the rails. When you lean past the outside rails of the ladder, it has the potential to tip, which can lead to severe injuries. If you're ever tempted to lean, get off the ladder and move it closer to where you need it. Taking that extra step could mean all the difference.
Choose the Right Ladder
Always choose the right ladder for the job. A lot of arborists choose orchard or tripod ladders, but frankly, those ladders aren't particularly safe. Generally speaking, if you're working around trees, extension ladders aren't the best options either. For horticulture, the best ladder is a multi-position ladder, like the Little Giant Velocity ladder. You can adjust the height to reach what you need to, but the ladder stays stable.

Never Lean the Ladder Against the Tree

Leaning the ladder against the tree you are cutting down is dangerous, plain and simple. The internet has plenty of “ladder fails” and other accidents reported from trimming a tree this way. Instead, choose a multi-position ladder or a stepladder that stands independently, so you can get your work done safely.