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  1. #1
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    Default Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Home Inspector Falls From South Kitsap Roof » Kitsap Sun

    From the latest word, he died of his injuries. Terry Olson of Grapeview, Wa.

    Most of the roofs on this street appear to be 4 in 12 pitch. Be safe, everybody.

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by John Kogel; 09-10-2010 at 08:22 PM.
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    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    Its the 18 feet that was the problem, not the pitch. One of the reasons I carry a 17 foot ladder.
    I'm sorry for him and his family. I don't know about the rest of you, but every day I take more caution on the ladder. Don't know if I'm getting older or wiser or more chicken. I used to run up ladders, now I walk very carefully and am much more nervous. What's up with that?
    Me as well. If my 17 footer does not get me on the roof or if I cannot get up from a lower flat roof or lower sloped roof that I can climb to the upper roof I just do not go there.

    Someone actually got mad last week because I did not go to the second story roof. You could see from the ground multiple shingles blown back or off from the ground all over each side of the roof but one. hey wanted to know how many were damaged on the forth side of the roof???????? Well, I guess the roofer will determine that when he gives you a price for the rest of the roof replacement. If you have to replace 3 sides why would you not replace the entire roof. They still did not get it.

    My condolences to the family. It is unfortunate that it can happen to any one of us any day.


  3. #3
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    I am never embarrassed to say it is too dangerous for me.
    The last 9 months or so I carry a 28 foot washer pole and attach my HD video for still shots.

    That $40 stick may save my life some day.


  4. #4
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Horrible story... condolences to the family.

    I only carry a 12 foot ladder and have never really had a problem or complaint. I have a roofing company that I'm pretty close with and don't hesitate to give them a call when needed.

    I use binoculars and get on a lot of roofs by going upper level windows.

    Even 12 feet is plenty high to get plenty hurt.... every time I step on my ladder I'm scared... or at least very aware I should say.


  5. #5
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Sad news.

    Notice was published September 7th, in The Olympian,

    Olson, Terry O., 60, died Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, at St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma. McComb Funeral Home, Shelton, 360-426-4803
    Death Notices for Sept. 7 - Death Notices - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

    From the FH site:

    Terry Orin Olson passed away at the age of 60 years on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma, WA. He was born on July 31, 1950 in Bremerton, WA to Harley Orin and Mary Louise (Dunham) Olson. He graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle in 1968. On December 3, 1988 he married Susan Summers in Seattle, WA. Terry co-owned a beauty salon with his sister for over 20 years working as a stylist. He always loved construction so it was only natural when he started up his own business in home inspection. He did a lot of remodeling and beautiful construction work all over the Mason Lake and Canal areas. Mr. Olson was a member of the Skookum Rotary, the Mason Benson /club (former president for two years), a member of the Mason County Association of Realtors (was an affiliate of the year), and the Yesteryear Car club. His hobbies included the restoration and love of his classic 1962 Thunderbird, gardening, restoration of furniture and the building of furniture, remodeling, bowling, softball, water sports, snow skiing, country western dancing, and his newest hobby of winemaking with good friends Evan and John. He was a devoted Husky fan and enjoyed all the Seattle sports teams. Terry was preceded in death by his father Harley. He is survived by his bride, Susan Summers of Grapeview, WA; son, Bret Olson of Marysville, WA; mother, Mary Louise Stai of Ballard, WA; sisters, Barbara Gebow (Kris) of Des Moines, WA, Holly Carey (John) of Mukilteo, WA; brothers, Mark Olson (JoAnn) of Mukilteo, WA, Daniel Olson of Ballard, WA; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
    Regarding above, and more details see: Welcome to McComb Funeral Home

    According to the FH site, service details are pending.

    Yes, remember ladder safety, especially as you view his webpage ladder photo. Center of gravity, secure, safe heights, etc.

    Community Home Inspections

    Be safe is #1. Not so much the fall but the landing that gets you.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-10-2010 at 10:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Some time I only get the Termite inspection side and another HI Gets the HI Side. Some of these other inspectors do some stupid stuff. They are walking on loose shingles, or areas they did not check. I had one HI fall though the roof of a patio I was inspecting the inside and he was walking on the flat roof above me and boom the wack job fell though and hi the floor... He was banged up but good but going to be OK... Look at what you are walking on guys... SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. Live to inspection the next say...

    My condolences to the family...

    Best

    Ron


  7. #7
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Not that it will make any difference, but over on TIJ a person from the area posted that he did not fall of the roof and that he died of a stroke or heart attack. The Realtor at the home said he had his ladders loaded back on his vehicle. Again, it really does not matter how. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

    I have been at this gig full-time since May 1995 and I have around 5,000 inspections under my belt. I can't recall a single year that has gone by that I have not heard of a fellow inspector getting hurt or worse.

    I have fallen through a couple of attics due to a misstep by not being able to see where I was stepping. I have almost fallen off a roof that I had no business in the first place going up on. I think many times we just do not think before we act. We want to see just a little more of that area that is almost within reach. It is just not worth it!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Over the years I have been on my roof many many times to blow out the gutters. About a month ago one of my shoes lost its grip. Fortunately I had both feet on the roof surface at the moment and was able to keep myself from going down (about a 6/12 pitch on 2 story house). The slight mildew on the shingles was just "a little" damp but enough to make a big difference. Seriously, without a doubt that was the closest I've ever come to dying and that incident lasted only a split second. If Terry Olsen was indeed on a 4/12 roof that's scary. I normally would have considered that pitch a piece of cake.

    For those that brag that they walk every roof - you need some serious re-evaluation of your methods. The hell with what the buyer wants you to do.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    For those that brag that they walk every roof - you need some serious re-evaluation of your methods. The hell with what the buyer wants you to do.
    And the people said! Amen!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Today I was at an inspection as the same time a chimney sweep was there to inspect the chimney. He put his ladder up, went up and checked out the chimney. I asked him if it was OK if I used his ladder - he said OK.

    I went up to the top and saw that the top of his ladder only extended a few inches above the gutter. The shingles were damp, and my shoes were wet from walking on the wet grass.

    I saw what I could from the top of the ladder, took some photos from there, and came back down. Just not worth the risk.

    By the way, I've known this chimney sweep for years.


  11. #11
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    I feel off a roof once, 25 feet, and landed on my back. If anybody dosen't belive in G-D... well I got proof he exists. Cuz brother, it's a miracle I walked away. A few month's ago I almost fell off another one... twice. The ladder caught me. That was the day I woke up.

    Now, although I walk any roof I can, if I have any doubt, I have no problem looking from the edge of the ladder, or binoculars if that is all I can do.

    If anybody has a problem with that, they can kiss my Wet Wall Detector.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-14-2010 at 07:12 PM.
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    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  12. #12
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    A carpenter I worked with for 20 years retired and a few months later fell head-first off a roof while helping his son clean out the gutters. It was a single story house with a 4/12 pitch. He broke his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down. He died a couple of years later from complications. Every time I get on a roof I think about it...


  13. #13
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Guys,

    I am here to tell you that ladder safety should be your #1 concern. Take it from someone who should not be here to tell you this story. I fell off a roof in January of this year, at 12:38 to be exact (or that is the time my wife received the phone call). I broke every bone in my spine. If not for the grace of God and and excellent surgeon, I would not be here today. My wife calls me the miracle man. I was in the hospital for 3 1/2 months and was home learning how to walk again for another 3 months. Today I am back out working with a lot of help from my friends.

    I will probalby never walk normally again. Thank God my wife had good insurance. My medical bills are over 1.2 million dollars. I am not telling any of you this to feel sorry for me. I am greatful to be alive. But my accident, like so many other who have fallen off a ladder, was do to human error. I did not have my ladder set up properly and now I am paying the price. Please, please take the time to set your ladder up properly, tie it off, or whatever needs to be done. If it does not extend far enough above the roof line to be safe, do not go up. If the roof is wet, stay the hell off it. If you client gives you a hard time, either pay (or upcharge the client ahead of time) a licensed roofer with the right ladder to inspect the roof, or return when conditions are safe to walk on the roof. If the client still gives you a hard time, walk away from the inspection.

    It takes about three hours to do an inspection. It only takes one second to make a mistake that can change your life forever. I am one of the lucky ones. I lived. Not everyone is so fortunate. You have no idea what it does to your family when something like this happens. Once again, I am lucky. My wife was amazing.

    Keep this in mind. We all want to be brave and we all want to be the hero. Take it from someone who has been there. The falling part may be fun, but the landing is a real killer.

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  14. #14
    Terry Griffin's Avatar
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    Red face re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Oh gee. Condolences to the family.
    This is the very reason I dont climb onto roofs unless they are flat or have less than a 4 in 12 pitch. If I see any adverse condition from the ladder or with my binoculars I recommend the client have a licensed roofing contractor do further evaluations of the roof.


  15. #15
    Ted Williams's Avatar
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    I'm sorry to hear about this. It's always been my number one concern.

    Even so, I'm on my parent's roof all the time to try and keep my father off. He's 76 with hearing aids and not the greatest balance. And yet, I can't keep him on the ground. I finally just started 'popping by' for a visit when I know it's going to rain.

    Two weeks ago I watched a contractor's helper go up a ladder to the apex of my neighbor's 3 and 1/2 story town-home and lean out with a screw driver to probe the soffits. My palms actually started sweating watching the kid.

    Oh, and I'm forwarding any links you guys put up about fallen HIs to my moms. Maybe she can keep the old donkey off the ladder.


  16. #16
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    guys

    in march my ladder slipped out on me when i was up at gutter level looking at roof. there was snow on deck. i grabbed the gutter, glad they were installed securely. i fell with my left knee tuck beneath my body. ladder then fell and fractured two ribs . have made it thru summer because of the great business, but my golf game suffered. surgery on 12/14/10, repair torn mcl and minicus ligaments.

    my ladder was secured at gutter with velcro. be careful and secure that ladder.

    chas


  17. #17
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Williams View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about this. It's always been my number one concern.

    Even so, I'm on my parent's roof all the time to try and keep my father off. He's 76 with hearing aids and not the greatest balance. And yet, I can't keep him on the ground. I finally just started 'popping by' for a visit when I know it's going to rain.

    Two weeks ago I watched a contractor's helper go up a ladder to the apex of my neighbor's 3 and 1/2 story town-home and lean out with a screw driver to probe the soffits. My palms actually started sweating watching the kid.

    Oh, and I'm forwarding any links you guys put up about fallen HIs to my moms. Maybe she can keep the old donkey off the ladder.
    Maybe that ladder should just disappear over to your place.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    guys

    in march my ladder slipped out on me when i was up at gutter level looking at roof. there was snow on deck. i grabbed the gutter, glad they were installed securely. i fell with my left knee tuck beneath my body. ladder then fell and fractured two ribs . have made it thru summer because of the great business, but my golf game suffered. surgery on 12/14/10, repair torn mcl and minicus ligaments.

    my ladder was secured at gutter with velcro. be careful and secure that ladder.

    chas
    Been there. Thought the snow would be packed enough to hold the feet. Grabbed the roof and only broke my camera. I am avoiding the ladder on the deck more and more these days.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  18. #18
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    In my 4th year of inspecting now. So far no incidents but my heart gets pumping pretty good sometimes. Coming back to the ladder to dismount is the most freaky part for me. I never look at the ground at that point. I just focus on the top of the ladder making sure my hands and feet are in the right place. I keep my weight shifted toward the roof in case the ladder slips I can hopefully fall back onto the roof instead of to the ground.


  19. #19
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    I know it must happen to everyone at one time or another.

    Sometimes while standing at the peak of the roof with one foot on one side and the other foot on the other side of the ridge. This is a fairly steep roof. You are turning slightly, nothing major, and a gust of wind comes up. Even though when the wind hit you, you really never went off balance, you did not dip or bend but you had that feeling that.....Oh shoot, almost or could have went down on that one. The mid section tightens up for that millionth of a second, the thought brushes by a few brain sells and for a split second you are a bit shaken. It does not happen often but it does happen.

    Those tiny moments in life keep me safe when on a roof and allow me to go home at the end of the day and not to the hospital. Those tiny moments have hit me when at the top of the ladder and kept me from going up on a roof that I go on every day. You know something is not just right..........Listen to those nanosecond feelings and thoughts and all of us will be going home tomorrow....In our on vehicle.....Hopefully.


  20. #20
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You know something is not just right..........Listen to those nanosecond feelings and thoughts and all of us will be going home tomorrow....In our on vehicle.....Hopefully.
    Agreed, Ted.
    Listen to your gut, not the bravado. While I absolutely hate not being able to walk a roof for that close up look, sometimes it is just too steep, too slippery, etc. Even when going on a roof I would rather look like a new-bie going on all fours on the steep parts than take a chance on bouncing. Take that extra moment to check the ladder, tie the shoes, etc. All it takes is a split second to change your life or end it.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  21. #21
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    Default re: Death Of An Inspector, Terry Olson

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Griffin View Post
    Oh gee. Condolences to the family.
    This is the very reason I dont climb onto roofs unless they are flat or have less than a 4 in 12 pitch. If I see any adverse condition from the ladder or with my binoculars I recommend the client have a licensed roofing contractor do further evaluations of the roof.

    I am guessing that you did not read Bill Siegel's post immediately above your post ... ????

    It is not just the slope of the roof or how high the roof it, it is THE LADDER which causes most problems.

    Bill, having been retired out of FABI so long I was not aware your injuries were that bad - I heard you fell, but not that you were injured to that extent. I am glad you have been able to recover as well as you have.

    I personally know several home inspectors who fell off ladders and were injured, with Bill being the most seriously injured of those I personally know.

    Everyone should take Bill's words and follow them, to take those words lightly is only asking to move up to the front of the line so you can be the next one to fall ...

    I must admit that I did more than my share of REALLY STUPID THINGS with setting ladders up and then getting on to roofs and, worse yet, getting off roofs, onto those ladders which were too short - I was one of the lucky ones and never fell (that is ... while doing home inspections - I have ridden 40 foot extension ladders down the side of two story houses while I was doing construction before I went into home inspections, again, I did stupid things, but I was lucky in that the only thing I injured was my pride).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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