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The Risk Involved in Cleaning Your Own Gutter

Gutter cleaning is a hazardous task fraught with danger. Most people are not
accustomed to working at heights, and they often do not have the proper safety equipment needed to clean gutters. The average homeowner is often without a:

  • Ladder balancing mechanism
  • Safety harness
  • Safety rope tied into to a secure point
  • Aide of a co-worker

WorkSafe found that:

“. . . on average there are at least three deaths per year due to falls from height;
7% of all lost time injuries and diseases (LTI/Ds) involve falls from heights, about
1,295 LTI/Ds each year;- incidences increased 27% during the five year period
from 2003/04 to 2007/08; and on average, each injury involving a fall from a
height results in about 90 days off work. In 2007/08 the total number of days lost
increased by a factor of five compared to 2003/04.”

Homeowners are often unaware of the preparation involved in gutter cleaning.
Once at the top of the ladder, they often find that they do not have the right tools
to complete the job. Hard-to-reach spaces present risk and the opportunities for
poor decision-making increase rapidly. It is at this point when accidents often
occur.

In the end, the potential savings do not outweigh the risk. Proper gutter
maintenance is a critical factor in protecting the value of your home, but protecting
your health is even more critical.

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