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  1. #1
    Frank Palermo's Avatar
    Frank Palermo Guest

    Default Ladder accident / safety please read

    Hi all I have been searching the net to see if what happen to me has happened to others. Looks like some have please share your stories with me. While installing vinyl siding with my werner mt 17 multi use ladder in A frame design on trex/ plastic deck. Went up about three rungs went to make pencil mark on siding when ladder flew off the deck like riding on oil. One broken ankle later out of work for 4 to 5 months. Note I do all my on maint. / repairs and replacements on house/ plumbing / electrical/ dry wall/ siding. Not new to tools of the trade. If any one on this post know's how to place on all Massage boards for this sight that would be great, just looking to give others A heads up for this safety issue plastic decking and plastic anti slip feet of ladder do not mix. Just adding something i found looks like from uk dont how hard it will be to purchase but am going to try.
    BBF Trading Ltd Ladder Safety

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    Last edited by Frank Palermo; 12-17-2010 at 09:01 AM. Reason: adding safety device web site
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Sorry to hear about your accident Frank but I glad it wasn't worse. I wasn't aware the composite decks had the same issues as wooden deck.

    Decks and ladders just don't seem to mix well. Many times, a wooden deck can be slightly wet or have a thin film of algae which makes the surface very slippery.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Duplicate post

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Sorry to head about your accident.

    I carry a length of 2x4" with a two 12" pieces of 1-1/2" aluminum "L" screwed to the bottom with a 2" gap between them. The vertical legs of the "L"s are thin enough to fit between most deck boards, and the gap between them sits over a joist. The feet of the ladder sit against the 2x4". Only works when the boards are parallel to the wall, and sometimes the boards are too close together for the "L"s to fit between them. But when it works, it sometimes makes things much safer.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Those plastic decks become slicker than snot when it's hot out (or when they're wet). I had a similar occurance but escaped without injury. I was about half way up and looking at the drip edge when the ladder started to slip out from under me.

    It was a bit of a race between me getting to the ground and the top of the ladder falling off the edge of the gutter. Both happened at about the same time and I just fell over but was uninjured.

    Needless to say, I'll never put my ladder on a plastic deck again.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    To help prevent a ladder from slipping, get a piece of carpet square.
    It is rubber backed, short pile, and about 3' square.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    I carry a rubber welcome mat that has come in handy a few times for this purpose.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I carry a rubber welcome mat that has come in handy a few times for this purpose.
    That's strange. Our rubber welcome mat disappeared a little while ago. Hmmmmm....

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    That's strange. Our rubber welcome mat disappeared a little while ago. Hmmmmm....
    I should have said "I carry Nick's rubber welcome mat", to be accurate. Sorry about that.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Of course, the worst thing I've had happen with a ladder in recent memory was at home, not at a home inspection.
    I was putting up the Xmas lights on the front porch and needed my Werner 12' articulating (is that the word?) ladder.
    I set it up as a 6' step ladder, but apparently failed to lock the articulation (?) at the 3' level right in front of me. When I stepped on it, the whole thing rapidly collapsed, barely missing my face.
    I'm really lucky it didn't break my nose, or teeth, or both.
    Be careful out there, boys and girls, even if "out there" is your own front porch.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  11. #11
    Eric Shuman's Avatar
    Eric Shuman Guest

    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    We all use ladders everyday at work and so it sometimes seems like an extension of ourselves (pardon the pun). I've been doing ladder work for more than 20 years, way befroe I started inspecting. I still learned the hard way back in February that you can never be too careful with a ladder, even if your a pro.

    I too, had my extension ladder slip out from underneath me (like it was greased) while it was placed on a deck. I fell about 12 feet to the deck. Bruised every rib on the left side of my body, seperated two of the ribs, three inch gash in my leg. Lucky it didn't kill me or worse. Cell phone (and camera) broke in impact. No one around to call 911. In the country alone and had to drive myself 20 miles to the ER without knowing if I had internal injuries.

    The rib injuries were the worst injury I have ever experienced and were extremely painful for 4 months (couldn't sneeze, laugh, cough, move fast or take a deep breath without excruciating pain for almost 4 months). Still had pain after 6 months.

    Had to hire someone to carry my ladder for me for weeks.

    Always, always, always secure your base if on anything remotely slick. It's worth taking the time to do. Avoid putting your ladder up on a deck if you can. It only takes a split second for you to fall but can take a very long time to heal.

    Even though I do still walk roofs when they are safe enough to do so, I totally understand now why we are not required to do so.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Last week I was working on a house down in a remote part of the beach. Even though there a lot of houses, there were not many people there due to off season. I climbed 32' ladders right and left. Even putting them side by side and stepping from ladder to ladder. Had no problem.

    However, I placed a 4' ladder on the upper deck and went to climb the ladder to put a screw in the top of the new storm door and fell right off. Fortunately I fell onto the deck itself. If I had fallen backwards it would have been a drop down the full 8' high section of stairs. I guess I got too confident. The only thing that hurt was my pride. I don't think anyone saw me as I jumped right up as soon as I hit the deck.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    I was using a 21 foot A frame LG ladder last week. It is suppose to hold 300 lbs per side, at the same time. Not a snowballs chance if you know what I mean. There was so much bow to that ladder when my partner started coming up the other side that I deemed it impossible to accommodate that much weight, even if it could in the end.

    When you are up a few rungs away from the top and move at all there is too much bounce. It may have a wide stance but I would not trust it putting any force at all to thew side.

    It is a scary ladder. I don't care who you may be. That high up and that much movement, well, I would strongly not suggest it. I was on it for a couple hours off and on. My body was so sore for the next couple of days from trying to steady that moving ladder when up there I was taking ibuprofen. It was like working out for a week straight after not working out for years.

    A strong suggestion to everyone would be under rate the ladders you are using. Double the safety measures that you should normally do.

    If you are thinking of using a large A frame.....I suggest you use scaffolding. It may take more to set up but when it is up you can actually move around and do something. If you don't have scaffolding then rent some. 21 feet is a long way down if it were to happen and then you may tangle up in that ladder on the way down or not, you may wind up dead.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Ladder accidents suck, for sure.

    As a comparison... I wonder if a study or similar exists as to:

    The number of the portable/folding/compact ladders used by HI's (and others) versus the number of convention ladders sold on the market.

    Are they 2-10-7% of the ladder market sales?

    Next.

    Does anyone keep track of ladder accidents by TYPE.

    I personally bought a large type (werner?) as I wanted to utilize a smaller vehicle. I used it for a while along with my stepladder.

    I never felt comfortable with it, I put the ladders back on the full size truck and put 2 large extension ladders on it.

    Gas isn't cheap, but neither is my safety.


  15. #15
    Douglas Bryant's Avatar
    Douglas Bryant Guest

    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Hello Everybody,
    I must share my story of using a extension ladder on Trex decking. My home is a 1884 victorian with 10 foot ceilings, so by todays standards this two story is more like three. Anyway I put a extension ladder on the deck and climbed to the roof. When stepping back down on to the ladder from the roof the ladder flew out from underneath me. In the end I suffered a compound fracture to the collarbone, another compound fracture to the shoulder joint and humerous and a shattered wrist. This injury required a 4 hour surgery to plate and screw the collarbone shoulder and humerous. the wrist was left to heal on its own. I was in a imobilizer device for 8 weeks followed by a cast and sling for another 6 weeks. and now will require at least 8 weeks of physical and occupational therapy. Regaining full mobility back is unlikely. This was a devistating injury but actually Im lucky to have not been killed. The company really should have warnings with their material upon purchasing.


  16. #16
    Douglas Bryant's Avatar
    Douglas Bryant Guest

    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Hello Everybody,
    I must share my story of using a extension ladder on Trex decking. My home is a 1884 victorian with 10 foot ceilings, so by todays standards this two story is more like three. Anyway I put a extension ladder on the deck and climbed to the roof. When stepping back down on to the ladder from the roof the ladder flew out from underneath me. In the end I suffered a compound fracture to the collarbone, another compound fracture to the shoulder joint and humerous and a shattered wrist. This injury required a 4 hour surgery to plate and screw the collarbone shoulder and humerous. the wrist was left to heal on its own. I was in a imobilizer device for 8 weeks followed by a cast and sling for another 6 weeks. and now will require at least 8 weeks of physical and occupational therapy. Regaining full mobility back is unlikely. This was a devistating injury but actually Im lucky to have not been killed. The company really should have warnings with their material upon purchasing.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Douglas,
    Do not try to blame Trex, tree pollen, mold, water or anything else. What you experienced was operator error, pure and simple. It was your responsibility to make sure that the bottom of the latter was secured and stable. The fact that at composite has a different friction coefficient is really a non issue with your accident. Again it was your fault no one else nor any other factor.

    A little harsh, no. Not when someone wants to redirect responsibility for their own actions.

    I had a similar experience where I setup a 40 ft latter to the roof from a wood deck. The deck was covered in oak pollen. I, did not secure the latter at the base. The bottom slid out and I came down breaking my arm requiring a plate and a new radial end. It was so bad a break that no regular Orthopedic surgeon would attempt a repair, had to go to a supper specialist. I to was lucky that I did not kill my self. And the word that should be stressed is "I". No one else was responsible for the results only myself.

    PS., I found out that trying to run up a latter as it is coming down, as in the cartoons, does not work. I had an idea of trying to reach the gutter before I ran out of ladder. Silly me.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ladder accident / safety please read

    Scary stuff! Thanks to all for sharing. On a similar note it's good to carry a bungee cord or rope to tie off the top of the ladder to the gutter.
    I went out with an aluminum 32' extension ladder for a roof inspection (during a snowstorm with 30 mph winds). I stepped off the ladder and it slid sideways across the slick galvanized gutter until it came to rest against the drip loop and gooseneck of the overhead electrical service...in the snow. Well, I was up a creek without a cell phone. Someone was watching over me apparently because I had left my car unlocked and it was in a parking lot right next to the house on whose roof I was standing very sheepishly. After a few minutes a gentleman parked next to my car. I hollered down to him and asked him to open my hatchback, take out the small coil of rope I happened to have lying inside the car, and to throw it up to me. He made a heck of a throw, I made a desperation catch, I lassooed the ladder, and I climbed down feeling pretty darn dumb. I sure wish that was the last dumb thing I did!

    Dan Cullen
    www.domicileconsulting.com
    Chicago IL

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