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  1. #1
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    Default Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I am writing an article on Ladder Safety and looking for stories of Inspector "near misses". Real fall stories are welcome also. If your story can prevent another inspector from making the same mistake its worth repeating.

    Any and all stories welcome!


    //Rick

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I am writing an article on Ladder Safety and looking for stories of Inspector "near misses". Real fall stories are welcome also. If your story can prevent another inspector from making the same mistake its worth repeating.

    Any and all stories welcome!


    //Rick
    I left a skid mark on a wall bout 6 mos ago. I elaborate when time allows.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Not tying off a ladder which was fully extended. It was a windy day. Got back down and left ladder at edge. Several minutes later there was a loud crash. Wind had pushed ladder over. Fortunately it landed on the ground away from house. No damage and leaving me embarrassed.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I placed my Little Giant on a wooden deck, the deck was just a little damp from the morning dew but not wet to the touch. As I reached the roof the legs started to slide on the wooden deck. The only thing that stopped the legs from sliding all the way was an acorn that was wedged between the planks. I now put a screwdriver between the planks and one of the legs of the ladder anytime I set my ladder up on a deck.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I am always surprised how few clients don't offer to help hold the ladder. I always ask clients to hold the base of ladder. An ounce of prevention.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    This year I had the wind pushing me and the ladder over. Despit the fact that I almost always (few exceptions) use on on the top I remember what I was told by the guy who invented it)Conway Williams) (I worked for him as a teen ager) that it could be used at the bottom as well - funny thing , I now take a second one with me these days , just in case.

    the other thing is - it might not have been a good day to be on a ladder with high winds - what do you guys do when doing an inspection and the weather gets in the way ?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    This year I had the wind pushing me and the ladder over. Despit the fact that I almost always (few exceptions) use on on the top I remember what I was told by the guy who invented it)Conway Williams) (I worked for him as a teen ager) that it could be used at the bottom as well - funny thing , I now take a second one with me these days , just in case.

    the other thing is - it might not have been a good day to be on a ladder with high winds - what do you guys do when doing an inspection and the weather gets in the way ?
    If its bad weather, I go inside! I'm not being paid to be a Wind Sock or a Lighting Rod! Its one of the Mother Nature things, I figure if an insurance company can use that excuse so can I! Life is too short to risk anything, just report the reason in your report for not doing something....

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I left a skid mark on a wall bout 6 mos ago. I elaborate when time allows.
    John, I'd like to hear more about this. Most of us who have used a ladder in our work have left "skid marks" but I have never had one get to the wall.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    John, I'd like to hear more about this. Most of us who have used a ladder in our work have left "skid marks" but I have never had one get to the wall.
    I normally use my Jaws folding ladder outside and the 12' TeleSteps only indoors. There was a flat roof under a wood deck. The drain was not accesible from above, so I grabbed the Telesteps which was handy (Mistake #1) to reach the underside of this roof/deck thing.
    The walkway was sloped down and away so I turned the ladder angle to the wall and I had one top corner of the ladder hooked on a vertical siding batten. (Mistake #2) Hey I was only going up 3 feet quick like. (#3, I still did damage to myself and the house) Ladder slipped and I rode it down and jumped clear, twisting my ankle and sliding down the bank a bit. Corner of the ladder left a rubber skid mark on the siding.

    One day the realtor left me to finish the walkthrough and lock up. I ushered the clients and hangers on out the door and they left. Hey, the key was still in the lock box. I phoned around but got only voicemails. Then I thought no problem, I'll lock the front from inside and just pull the back door shut, locking knob back there. Only one problem, that's a balcony back there 12 feet above a rocky slope. No problem, I thought, I'll set up my extension ladder to the balcony, then go thru, lock up and climb down. I set the ladder up and it is on a pretty steep angle, no choice. I go thru the house check all locks, click the balcony door shut, locked, go over to the railing and there's my tall ladder, perched on the edge of a vertical cliff. All I gotta do is climb over the guardrail and onto the ladder without crashing. No, I didn't fall but it was such a dumb move. Getting over the rail with no furniture to climb on and trying not to shift the ladder, I thought, this is insane. Never do this again.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Had an extension ladder leaned against the roof line of a shallow hip roof. Ladder looked crooked and decided to test the firmness of it with one foot. 18' above the ground. Remember trying to fall away from the ladder. The paramedics found me unresponsive, I had a true out of body experience. Right before the paddles came out, they got a pulse, and took me on a board to the chopper. Hallucinating, in pain, in hospital for two days. Minor concussion, separated shoulder (2). Neck injury.

    Do not get on ladders any more. Glad to be alive. A brother of a a friend fell off a ladder and impaled himself on a iron fence with finials. Died like a shish..

    sm


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I made the mistake of using the home owners ladder they had left in position for attic access. This was a very heavy duty extension ladder through the garage access, not quite the right angle but close (mistake number two).

    It looked safe enough but I failed to recognize how slick the concrete floor was (mistake number three.)

    As I was just poking my head into the attic, the ladder began to slide and I began trying to hang onto ceiling joists to no avail.
    I landed across the hood of the new BMW parked below. (mistake number four)

    That was several months ago but I ALWAYS remember
    1. NEVER USE SOME ONE ELSES LADDER.
    2. ALWAYS TEST THE ANGLE FOR THE CORRECT RATIO.
    3. CHECK THE SURFACE FOR WET OR SLIPPERINESS.
    4. NEVER CLIMB A LADDER SUSPENDED OVER A CAR OR OTHER ITEMS PARKED IN THE WAY BELOW.

    5. Keep the liability insurance in place. (Thankfully they paid with no problem)

    When this presents itself at inspections I now decline by beginning the story with, "the last time I tried that I landed on top of a BMW..."

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I made the mistake of using the home owners ladder they had left in position for attic access. This was a very heavy duty extension ladder through the garage access, not quite the right angle but close (mistake number two).

    It looked safe enough but I failed to recognize how slick the concrete floor was (mistake number three.)

    As I was just poking my head into the attic, the ladder began to slide and I began trying to hang onto ceiling joists to no avail.
    I landed across the hood of the new BMW parked below. (mistake number four)

    That was several months ago but I ALWAYS remember
    1. NEVER USE SOME ONE ELSES LADDER.
    2. ALWAYS TEST THE ANGLE FOR THE CORRECT RATIO.
    3. CHECK THE SURFACE FOR WET OR SLIPPERINESS.
    4. NEVER CLIMB A LADDER SUSPENDED OVER A CAR OR OTHER ITEMS PARKED IN THE WAY BELOW.

    5. Keep the liability insurance in place. (Thankfully they paid with no problem)

    When this presents itself at inspections I now decline by beginning the story with, "the last time I tried that I landed on top of a BMW..."
    If the door has an automatic opener and there is a car worth more than my deductible parked in the garage within range of my ladder, I do not test the door... Rick's deal with wet decks and a screwdriver will save your behind. I use my Rigging Axe from my framing days. Anything will work if it'll wedge between the planks. Be safe out there !


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I was just a youngster (35 y.o.), checking the function of several awning-type windows with hand crank operating mechanisms, on a wall of our church's gymnasium. They must have been 18' or 20' above the recently-refinished wooden floor, as it required full extension of my 24-foot aluminum ladder to reach them. I never suspected the rubber feet of my almost-new ladder wouldn't grip the shiny floor.

    Believe me, there's nothing quite as scary as watching a window, ever so-slowly at first, moving upward in front of one's nose. I had a reflex reaction to jump clear of the ladder as it rapidly gained speed on its way to the gym floor, not wanting my legs or arms caught up in the rungs. I was very fortunate to walk away with just a sprained wrist and a few large bruises.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Wow - these are great complete with lesson's learned!

    Keep them coming!

    Stephen - glad you survived your fall! That was pretty dramatic...


    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    About six weeks ago we received about 4" of snow and sub zero temps with highs in the single digits. The easy access to the roof was off the deck, about eight feet from deck to eave. The sun had melted that slope so it was my best place to see at least some portion of the roof. As I put my Little Giant up, it was obvious that the deck was slick so I angled the ladder as vertically as I could without tipping over backward. I got on the roof, did my thang, and returned to the ladder. I put my left foot on the wrung even with the gutter. As I swung my right foot over, the bottom of the ladder slid out. I made a grab for the gutter as I went by it, but missed and took the eight foot ride to the deck.

    I skinned my left ankle a bit and twisted my right ankle some. As I sat there mulling over my stupidity while appreciating that even at 61, I still have a knack for taking falls, but fully aware that luck had a sizeable role in the outcome; the buyers came running out. After dusting off the snow and assuring them that this is what all home inspectors do (they laughed), I continued on.

    Knowing better but not doing better is a lesson should not have needed to be re-taught.

    BTW, my wife has never heard this story and likely never will.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    BTW, my wife has never heard this story and likely never will.
    There is an opening for a bit of extortion if I ever heard one... now how much is it worth to keep the wife in the dark?

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 12-29-2014 at 10:19 AM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    How many use a pole cam as an alternative?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I use mine as a supplement, when I can't get close with a ladder.

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I too, made the mistake of using a customers ladder, because it was convenient. I set it up on a
    deck and climbed to the roof. No problem. When I stepped on the ladder to climb down, the ladder and I went straight down. I rode the ladder down with no injuries to me or the home. I was on the job by myself, no phone. If I had been hurt, I would have been SOL. I will never use an unfamiliar ladder again.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Expect the unexpected. Be prepared...

    Some years ago I was using an extension ladder which, if just at the correct angle, would just about get me to the gutter of a two story with only the horns above the roof. More agile and significantly more foolish in them days.

    I was inspecting a 2 story in a rural area. No-one home, just me. The house sat on a couple of acres but only about 20' from the rear 6' fence and surrounded by undeveloped thick wooded acreage. Very peaceful, beautiful day, not a sound other than a hawk calling overhead. I was just about to precariously (I did say foolish, didn't I) step off the ladder onto the roof with not much to hold onto. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a couple of loose dogs which I had seen roaming around earlier on the other side of the fence, chased a huge Buck which scaled the chain-link, not 15' from the ladder feet. Jeez...I was not expecting that and it started the livin' bejeebers out of me, to say the least. I had one knee on the roof, the other foot on the top rung and the ladder began to slip sideways along the gutter leaving me doing the splits. Fortunately I was able to grab a handful of co-ax cable running over the roof from the Sat. dish and get onto the roof. The ladder slid off the roof edge but stopped at an exterior chimney. Needless to say I needed a few minutes...

    A utility guy who just arrived to read the gas meter saw the Buck scrambling over the fence, went to investigate and saw my stranded predicament. He was kind enough to replace the ladder and steady it when I, very gingerly, came down.

    Lots of lessons learned. Number 1...Don't push your luck.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    These stories have reminded me of another one. When I was starting this biz, and in my late 40's, I had a ladder blow down while on the roof. Rural house, by myself, no cell phone service, and there I was admiring the view when the wind wasn't trying to blow me off the roof.

    The closest point down was to the deck. The gutter was solid but not enough to hang from, so I eased over the edge and dropped the eight or so feet from my shoes to the deck. Unscathed, I continued.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I am not an HI - but I do work for a "phone company" and used to have a field crew many years ago. I used ladders all the time to do inspections (and hooks/climbers) and never had a problem - ladder safety and working aloft correctly was drilled into my head in plant school. There are correct ways to carry, set up, tie-off, ascend, work from, descend, and remove a ladder.

    However, my grandfather had a nasty spill from a ladder and we feel he was never quite the same afterwards. He was around 65-70 at the time. He was cleaning the gutters on his one story ranch and the ladder he had didn't quite reach, so he put it in a wheelbarrow (yes, you read that correctly) to gain height. It worked as he went around 80% of the house - on grass. Once he got to the front walk, it did what wheel barrows are supposed to do, it rolled. My grandmother found him out cold laying on the ground. No idea how long he was there like that. We really feel that is when the dementia / forgetfulness started.

    Yes, it was an incredibly stupid way to set up a ladder, but the point is, ladders are nothing to mess around with. you may think you are only a few feet in the air, but that is all you need.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I have two stories- one funny, one not. Several years the only place to set my ladder was on a deck, right above a step down to a sidewalk. The step down was 10 inches high (too high, as noted in my report). Everything went smooth, until I stepped off the bottom step on my way down. I had forgotten there was an extra 10 inches. I landed on my foot, but so hard I 'snapped' my back out. It took 3 trips to the chiropractor over 5 days. So even that first (or last) step can be dangerous.

    Many years ago my ladder blew down on a vacant home. I set my clipboard, flashlight and tools above the chimney, and proceeded to hang off the gable near the bottom corner over the driveway. Years earlier, as a carpenter, I had jumped off roofs this high all the time. As I was hanging there, with my feet only a few feet from the ground, those carpenter days seemed a lot longer ago. Just as I was about to let go the overhead door started to open. I looked over my shoulder and saw a minivan with mom, dad and 2 kids all staring at me through that huge windshield. I smiled and said "Hi! I'm the home inspector. Be out of your way in just a second".

    Just proves one of Murphy's laws: The probability of you being watched is in direct proportion to the stupidity of your actions.

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. (Thomas Edison)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I am writing an article on Ladder Safety and looking for stories of Inspector "near misses". Real fall stories are welcome also. If your story can prevent another inspector from making the same mistake its worth repeating.

    Any and all stories welcome!


    //Rick
    In the interest of "preventing another inspector from making the same mistake". Bring along a bungy cord. I hook it on gutter fastener ferrules or spreaders, and weave it through ladder. On a gusty day, might keep you from wondering.....where did I park that thing?


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Back in the day:

    Methodically cutting down a five level exterior stairs - on each landing dropping six foot sections of 6" x 6" DF standards. I'm kneeling on a high landing, carefully removing a standard section with a skil saw when my laborer comes up from behind me, and karate kicks the standard i'm working on.

    Twenty feet of corner standard toppled, the platform disappeared from beneath me - i found myself suspended in time and space but managed to turn in mid-air throw the saw, and somehow "fly" back to the door entryway where the laborer was standing goggle eyed.

    The laborer had been up all night fishing, and using speed to stay awake - his foggy mind had concluded that the job was proceeding too slow. We never worked together again.

    Drugs and humanity are a bad mix - drugs in the building trades are a nightmare.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Before I was a home inspector, I worked for a family-owned company that was remodeling a hotel in downtown L.A. I was using an extension ladder that someone had taken apart and was running some EMT about 10 feet up along a wall in one of the street-level stores. Since this was the top half of the ladder, there were no rubber feet and at one point the base of the ladder slipped, leaving me on the concrete slab with my legs between the rungs. After the pain diminished and I had determined that nothing was broken, I set the ladder back up and got back to work (okay-okay, I was 20 at the time... give me a break).

    I threw the ladder away after falling the second time. Still no broken bones, but I did bend the ladder.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I arrived at an inspection in the fall of 2012 at 8:30 and the clients were really interesting and talky, I got my ladder and put it on the rear deck, on the shady side of the home, and didn't pay attention as I usually do making sure there was no algae growth etc on deck.. put er' up, ran up the ladder and did my inspection, as soon as I put full weight on one leg on the ladder it swept out from under me. I fell about 9' onto the deck but my leg went between the rung as it went down and hit something else before hitting bottom which kinda hurt seeing my leg was wedged between the rungs. My femur was fractured and my elbow also at the very point. Needless to say also a crazy deep bruising. Luckily my clients were both paramedics! So dipstick number one reaches down and pushes on my leg as I scream DON'T TOUCH IT! And they immediately both go kinda white and say they're calling an ambulance.. I said give me a minute to catch my breath and get the blood moving and we'll finish then I'll go (had ta' make some money to pay the bill now!) So after 10 minutes I catch my breath and stop feeling like puking then hobble around for an hour before I give in to the pain after doing majors only. They gladly pay me and send me on my way.

    My only other, (during 35 years on ladders) was when I was roofing a large home and doing a kitchen dormer above the garage at second level on a walk out ranch above the asphalt (yes, feels just like concrete when you hit it!) I didn't check the ladder fully before using it ensuring it's safety and when you do roofing many things can happen causing them to no longer be safe, so up I went with a bundle of shingles and just as I reach the roof the ladder collapses to one side due to a weakened rail to one side.. triple ouch, boss said get up and walk it off! (I was 20 and stupid like most roofers thinking we were indestructible and obeyed the master) luckily no broken bones or fractures.. no bonus pay either!


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Used ladders, frequently in my previous job. I know better, but still, early on in this business, I am at a story and a half in the wintertime, cold, windy day. Garage and wrap around front porch. Climbed up to check lower roof. Realtor in the car working/observing. I decided to pull up ladder to climb onto upper roof. Did I say dumb. Set the ladder up. Angle of the roof the ladder is sitting on is marginal at best. (Cold, slippery shingles) Proceeded to slowly climb up ... Got to the upper gutter ... and still, I climbed onto upper roof! (again, dumb) I knew the transfer from the ladder to the roof is the most dangerous part ... As soon as I stepped off the ladder, I realized the upper roof slope is steeper. My shoe soles began to slip. Unable to get back on the ladder, and now on hands and knees/tippy toes, I s l o w l y climbed to the ridge. Now what? Well duh, inspect the roof of course. Fighting the wind, poor footing, trying to not fall off, I walked the ridge to the other end, managed to turn around and back to ridge area above the ladder ... Realtor is looking up in awe, I'm sure. ;-) Scared and breathing heavy, after a minute, I decided to attempt to get down. S l o w l y, on my butt and hands I scooted down to the roof edge. Heart pounding, again thinking the weight transfer from the roof to the ladder is the critical ... Moving slowly, with the grace of God, transfered from the roof to the ladder, thinking the ladder may kick out, s l o w l y I climbed down. I made it down safely! Thank you Lord. Lesson learned? Think. If I looks dangerous, it is. Don't do it! It is not worth the approx. $300 to, at best, be crippled for life if I fall. Dodged another one ... No more of that stupid, dangerous, 2 story roof climbing for me. Drone with camera/video does it now. It's more fun on the ground, flying the drone ... I get there early, get fllyin', usually done by the time the client arrives. The video is very clear, (High Definition) and clients like to see the video too. Be safe out there. Crawlspace are dangerous places too, but that's another story...

    Jess
    www.aplusinspector.com
    (815) 941-2345

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    As I have said before, this forum is like a crystal ball predicting what I will see or have happen to me within 7 - 10 days. I set up my ladder at the back of my house to clear off leaves and debris with my leaf blower, as I have done many times in the past. When I was finished I pulled the ladder away from the eave and spun it away from the house to lower it. As I spun the ladder in the vertical position one of the legs caught on the guard rail I have around my patio. The ladder did a jerk and hit me square in the forehead. Now I have a shallow quarter inch cut in the center of my forehead to remind me that ladders can clobber you at any time. (This has never happened to me before, should I stop reading this forum?)

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The ladder did a jerk and hit me square in the forehead. Now I have a shallow quarter inch cut in the center of my forehead to remind me that ladders can clobber you at any time. (This has never happened to me before, should I stop reading this forum?)
    Always wear appropriate safety equipment when reading this forum.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    John, I'd like to hear more about this. Most of us who have used a ladder in our work have left "skid marks" but I have never had one get to the wall.


    I think Vern wanted to make his prophecy come true
    Careful what you say = you might invite something


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    I think Vern wanted to make his prophecy come true
    Careful what you say = you might invite something
    There is nothing like having "clutz" carved in your forehead x-(

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Sometimes the near miss is only something you "know," and the story to be shared is of how you stayed safe. I got up on this second-story roof once from the other side, in an alley, the ladder at 80 and barely reaching the gutter. Sobered by my foolishness, I invented this much safer way up, where I needed to carry heavy tools. Imagining and building this took a couple of hours. I kept adding features until I felt safe, and knew I would not damage the roofing. I left it as a gift for the home owner, for another contractor really. IMG_3200_95KB.JPG


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    As I have said before, this forum is like a crystal ball predicting what I will see or have happen to me within 7 - 10 days. I set up my ladder at the back of my house to clear off leaves and debris with my leaf blower, as I have done many times in the past. When I was finished I pulled the ladder away from the eave and spun it away from the house to lower it. As I spun the ladder in the vertical position one of the legs caught on the guard rail I have around my patio. The ladder did a jerk and hit me square in the forehead. Now I have a shallow quarter inch cut in the center of my forehead to remind me that ladders can clobber you at any time. (This has never happened to me before, should I stop reading this forum?)
    Maybe take more water with it...or stop using ladders😊


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Maybe take more water with it...or stop using ladders
    If I ever get my dream home (45' sailboat) I wont own a ladder, rake, mower or long pants.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If I ever get my dream home (45' sailboat) I wont own a ladder, rake, mower or long pants.
    45' sailboat??? Yeah, I've been up the mast in a boatswain's (bosun's) chair a couple of times. At least a ladder doesn't swing wildly about like a mast does!

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    45' sailboat??? Yeah, I've been up the mast in a boatswain's (bosun's) chair a couple of times. At least a ladder doesn't swing wildly about like a mast does!
    It's already tied off as recommended by several posters and the view from 55'....whew.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If I ever get my dream home (45' sailboat) I wont own a ladder, rake, mower or long pants.

    Unless you never leave dock - you will have many other opportunities to die
    example - you get hit by a cruise ship , Fire on board , Pirates
    Monsters that they showed in 1950's atomic age movies - They couldn't put it on the screen if it wasn't real

    I just find it funny how you made some comment a couple of weeks ago - then bam

    The best I could do here was I had a ladder slip out from under me while I was going from the roof to the ladder - Oh that and the wind blowing me over. - I'll take the sea monsters - there more fun


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Vern, Gunnar will agree, the safest way to go sailing is to leave the sails in the bags and just turn that key there, then set that auto-pilot there and turn on the GPS.

    One day I saw a porch deck covered with the usual slime and leaves, set up my ladder anyway but a bit on the steep side and was up to the eaves when she started to slip! I belly-flopped the low pitched roof and saved myself, pulled the ladder back up and got down. Then I saw that the deck was actually plastic lumber in a natural brown color. Hey those things are extra slippy. Be careful up there, y'all.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If I ever get my dream home (45' sailboat) I wont own a ladder, rake, mower or long pants.
    Be very careful what you wish for. A high school buddy of mine finally saved enough $$$, and bought himself a sailboat (I think about a 40-footer). He spent a small fortune, properly equipping it for his long-awaited solo trip around the world.

    He was lost at sea, in the South Pacific, about a month after leaving San Diego in 1993. Despite an extensive search paid for by the family, not a trace of him or his boat was ever found.

    Lots of evil people out there.


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Its amazing how many people like to taunt fate with dumb ideas and stupid acts.


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Be very careful what you wish for. A high school buddy of mine finally saved enough $$$, and bought himself a sailboat (I think about a 40-footer). He spent a small fortune, properly equipping it for his long-awaited solo trip around the world.

    He was lost at sea, in the South Pacific, about a month after leaving San Diego in 1993. Despite an extensive search paid for by the family, not a trace of him or his boat was ever found.

    Lots of evil people out there.
    I've been sailing since I was a teen. The type of ocean sailing I am into is; if I can't see my destination in two hours, I'm going back the bar I just left.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    A friend took us out in his newly aquired second hand sail boat on the San Francisco bay. Beautiful sunny morning, what could go wrong? Everything.

    He had no idea how to drive or sail the thing, and we set off bumping into dockside things and then "steered" an erratic wallowing course this way and that, including a couple of perfect circles. Looming in the distance was an aircraft carrier, and thoughts of big white sharks and worse.

    Rather worried we requested that we return to the start but now we come to the sorry bit, he had no way of stopping it, and we once again hurtled into the dock, and several substantial things that the foolish authorities had positioned for various purposes.

    Grabbing our chance we leapt off the what now appeared to be a sinking boat and quickly made our way home for duvet respite. The boat was indeed sinking, and went into a dry dock for repair and evaluation.

    Undaunted, our host later set off down south for ??? and had to be rescued by the coast guard. The excuse was either the compass didn't work or that he'd neglected to take one.


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I've been sailing since I was a teen. The type of ocean sailing I am into is; if I can't see my destination in two hours, I'm going back the bar I just left.
    Quote Originally Posted by tom daley View Post
    A friend took us out in his newly aquired second hand sail boat on the San Francisco bay. Beautiful sunny morning, what could go wrong? Everything.
    True story.
    This couple are out for a saiing weekend, hubby is at the helm, under sail, goes to take a leak and falls overboard. Wife can't sail so she can't stop the boat, hubby is in the frigid water. Wife tries to start the engine, it won't start. She pulls in the dinghy, jumps in and cuts that loose, and the sailboat carries on with no one on board. By now he is out of sight, and the sailboat is gone.
    She beaches the dinghy and runs for help, but she is on a remote stretch of beach, SW Texada Island, no houses down there. She runs along the old logging road until she reaches a machine operator who's clearing trail for a power line. They ride a few miles in his machine back to his truck where they can call the Coast Guard on his radio phone.
    Hubby swims to shore and the Coast Guard finds him there, hypothermic but alive. The Coast Guard helicopter drops a man on the sailboat before it goes up on the rocks about 30 miles north of there. Two days later they are back on the sailboat like it never happened. Funny one.

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Wow! Thread drift is the norm around here, but this is literally drifting on the ocean.

    My contribution to the drift and failure to exercise good sense is from my teenage years. Belly boats were only a few years old and few fisherman used them. As avid bass fishermen on teenagers' budgets, my buddy and I bought a couple. On our first outing, I felt it necessary to push the limits of the stability of my belly boat with predictable results. As I worked to avoid drowning, my buddy used his camera instead of helping.

    bellyboat incident.jpg

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Wow! Thread drift is the norm around here, but this is literally drifting on the ocean.

    My contribution to the drift and failure to exercise good sense is from my teenage years. Belly boats were only a few years old and few fisherman used them. As avid bass fishermen on teenagers' budgets, my buddy and I bought a couple. On our first outing, I felt it necessary to push the limits of the stability of my belly boat with predictable results. As I worked to avoid drowning, my buddy used his camera instead of helping.

    bellyboat incident.jpg

    Maybe we all should wear one when on ladders to cushion the fall


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    Maybe we all should wear one when on ladders to cushion the fall
    Good idea. How about a trampoline to land on?

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    True story.
    This couple are out for a saiing weekend, hubby is at the helm, under sail, goes to take a leak and falls overboard. Wife can't sail so she can't stop the boat, hubby is in the frigid water. Wife tries to start the engine, it won't start. She pulls in the dinghy, jumps in and cuts that loose, and the sailboat carries on with no one on board. By now he is out of sight, and the sailboat is gone.
    She beaches the dinghy and runs for help, but she is on a remote stretch of beach, SW Texada Island, no houses down there. She runs along the old logging road until she reaches a machine operator who's clearing trail for a power line. They ride a few miles in his machine back to his truck where they can call the Coast Guard on his radio phone.
    Hubby swims to shore and the Coast Guard finds him there, hypothermic but alive. The Coast Guard helicopter drops a man on the sailboat before it goes up on the rocks about 30 miles north of there. Two days later they are back on the sailboat like it never happened. Funny one.
    Perfect timing ... well, not for this ex-NFL player ... :
    - UPDATE: Ex-Miami Dolphins player Rob Konrad falls from boat, swims 9 miles to shore | www.palmbeachpost.com

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    See the two pair of extra sneakers?

    One pair was for attics and crawlspaces.

    The other pair was for ... well ... on several occasions I would place the pair of sneakers on the roof, set my ladder feet in the sneakers, and I could gain almost another 9 feet in height with my ladder on top of the van - did that several times, and that provided a better and safer footing than some of my other setups in trying to reach high roofs (some were downright circus dare devil act foolish).

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "The boat drifted off in the direction of the Bahamas and its location was not known as of Thursday evening, Barney said."

    Yes a boat without a captain is up for grabs. But he gets to tell the tale and what a swim. Amazing.


    Good idea, using the van roof for a landing. It could be secured to a roof rack.

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  51. #51
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Good idea, using the van roof for a landing. It could be secured to a roof rack.
    The roof of that conversion van was too high to have a useful roof rack but the sneakers did an excellent job of keeping the ladder feet from sliding on the roof.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  52. #52
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The roof of that conversion van was too high to have a useful roof rack but the sneakers did an excellent job of keeping the ladder feet from sliding on the roof.
    The sneakers under the ladder feet is a great idea with applications in other situations like slick decks.

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  53. #53
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    A heavy rubber mat works well too.


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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Two bits:

    A fishy business.

    If the NFL guy was such a strong swimmer, how come he didn't swim back and catch up with the boat he'd fallen from? Nine miles off Fla & he met no other traffic? If nothing else, drug smugglers are apparently out there wall to wall to get a docking spot.

    Ref. the van roof advice. of using it as a ladder platform.

    A roofer tied himself to a rope, the rope was tied to the pickup tow bar, the apprentice fascinated by his phone "Yeah, yeah, whatever" was told to stay with the pick up.
    The roofer climbed up & over the ridge & down the inaccessible roof slope.
    Suddenly, with one God almighty jerk, from a kneeling position, the roofer is running backwards up & over the ridge, down the slope at quite a clip, according to spectators, to finally backwards somersault into the bushes below.

    The lady of the house had asked the apprentice to move the truck off the lawn. "Yeah, yeah, whatever"

    The apprentice is still swimming.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    I entered a new construction home for an inspection in December. When I arrived I found a painter lying on the floor. He was on a fully extended 18 foot ladder in a higher family room two-story type ceiling, when the ladder started sliding on the wooden floor, causing him to hit the hard floor. Compound fracture of upper arm bone. Bone was protruding from the skin.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    I am writing an article on Ladder Safety and looking for stories of Inspector "near misses". Real fall stories are welcome also. If your story can prevent another inspector from making the same mistake its worth repeating.

    Any and all stories welcome!






    //Rick



  56. #56
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    I entered a new construction home for an inspection in December. When I arrived I found a painter lying on the floor. He was on a fully extended 18 foot ladder in a higher family room two-story type ceiling, when the ladder started sliding on the wooden floor, causing him to hit the hard floor. Compound fracture of upper arm bone. Bone was protruding from the skin.
    OUCH!

    Your story reminds me of an unrelated story. Many years ago, as I was trimming a window on a two story house with a w/o basement, I saw a blur go by the window. As I pressed my head against the window to look down to the area near the w/o basement door, I saw two roofers come running. One of the roofers had just fallen 30' from the roof. They rushed him to the hospital, but he was back on the roof that afternoon.

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  57. #57
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    I entered a new construction home for an inspection in December. When I arrived I found a painter lying on the floor. He was on a fully extended 18 foot ladder in a higher family room two-story type ceiling, when the ladder started sliding on the wooden floor, causing him to hit the hard floor. Compound fracture of upper arm bone. Bone was protruding from the skin.
    Note to self:
    Nail 2x4 to floor to keep ladder from sliding out from under me.
    Tie off ladder like a 1000' radio tower, so ladder does not slide sideways.
    Carry pocket full of some really good drugs, in case the above fails.

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

  58. #58
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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    Check out this guy in India. He must have a good life insurance policy because if I was that high on a swaying ladder I don't think I could hold any tools

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUcGX2w3XHE

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    Default Re: Roof / Ladder near miss stories

    After almost 40 years I can safely say I had one fall encounter from ascending someone else's ladder.

    I was hand nailing while everyone else used 2 men to lay a course with air guns.
    I was carnying up a bundle of shingles on a bungalow hip roof and felt the rung detach, pushed the shingles away and landed relatively safely after a short 10 foot fall.

    I told the contract he was an ass as did the sub roofers.

    Not many slope roof walks these days. My cameras has great zoom & pixels. I check the starter course, selvage and look at the nail pattern in the attic.

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