Ladder Safety

Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:00 pm

Having to get out an extension ladder today to take care of a leak on a building with a flat roof, I summond my young son to bring a broom up for me. Several other items were needed, my son fetching them and bringing them up for me.

When we were done, we gathered the collection of tools and headed for the ladder. I suddenly realized my son was scurrying up and down with no regard for safety.

I stopped him and asked him if I had ever taught him how to properly ascend and descend a ladder. He replied no.

Quite embarrassing spending nearly 20 years as a volunteer firefighter, but neglecting to spend the time instructing him how to safely use a ladder, primarily by maintaining 3 contact points at all times no matter what circumstances tie up your hands.

I can't believe I let something this important get past his important things in life to learn education, but apparently I did.

Now that he's been educated, folks reading this remember if you have younger children or grandchildren around, if they haven't been taught ladder safety, the next time you have one out is a good time to begin. Never know, they may become firefighters and your training will put them at the head of ladder class.

Once you have them all educated on ladder safety, don't let them bust you breaking the rules you taught them by always making sure the ladder has a firm foundation, maintaining 3 contact points, locking in when you work from the ladder, never over reaching, and if available, someone on the ground to steady the ladder during climbing.

A helmet or hard hat for your ground person is never a bad item to outfit them with if available.

A friend of mine decided to "save some money" by saw trimming some trees from a ladder. After the fall that cost him six weeks pay, he rethought his choice between doing it himself and contracting it out to someone who knew what they were doing, hiring out his trimming the following year.

Be safe!

Re: Ladder Safety

Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:52 pm

According to one of the safety training sessions we had, the most common cause of accidents from people trimming trees was the limb hinging and knocking down the ladder they were standing on. Of course there have been a number injured form having the ladder on the WRONG side of the cut, and cutting off their own support.

Re: Ladder Safety

Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:13 pm

After an exciting incident yesterday involving a sideways sliding ladder, I ordered a pair of leg levelers from Amazon-

45% off and free shipping!

You don't have to fall very far to break a bone, or at least ruin your day.

Re: Ladder Safety

Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:22 am

:D :D Tip of the day. Make sure there's a ladder there before you step off the roof!

Re: Ladder Safety

Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:37 am

Brent wrote::D :D Tip of the day. Make sure there's a ladder there before you step off the roof!

:( :( :( Ironically, After I posted this on12/29/13, My son was taking down the Xmas lights at his house and the extension ladder collapsed under him. Wound up in the hospital with 2 crushed vertebra and 2 fractured vertebra. He now has a permanent cage around the crushed disks and screws in the other two. Fortunately no paralysis and he will be ok. He won't be able to go back to work until October2014. We still don't know what caused the ladder to collapse. I suspect both rung latches didn't catch properly.

Re: Ladder Safety

Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:12 pm

Make sure the palls are locked on extension ladders. Check them every single time! As a firefighter this point was driven home to me several years ago when we got a call for a man who was stuck on a ladder. When we got to the scene the man was up about ten feet with one leg jammed between the ground part of the ladder and the extension. (You know there is only about an inch of space there right?) After instructing another firefighter to wedge a bar between two rungs so the ladder could not retract, I climbed up with a hack saw and cut the rung that had the man's leg trapped. He was able to climb down on his own power and even refused a ride to the hospital, but he was hurting for sure. The calf of his leg looked like an hourglass. This poor soul was up there screaming for twenty minutes before a neighbor heard him and called 911. Another point is to have your cell phone with you, but better yet, have someone watching you if possible.

Tie the hoisting rope around a rung so the ladder has a second measure of security. (see above)

If you are going up on a roof, extend the ladder enough so that there are three or four rungs above the roof.

Don't put pieces of wood etc to level a ladder. Dig the high side in, and tamp the soil good.

Climbing angle is important. Put you toes against the bottom of the ladder, and with your back straight, drop your hands onto a rung at chest level. If your hands don't hit a rung between the first knuckle and the palm of your hand, adjust the ladder so that it does.

If it doesn't seem right ; don't do it. Hire someone!