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Crazy Ladder Fail Photos

In my safety presentation I use a lot of pictures of people doing crazy things on their ladders. Often people in my classes send me pictures of ladder misuse that they have on their computers. So far this year, I have received some crazy ones. I’m going to try and put them in categories so they will fit with the safety message but some of them are beyond comment.


When choosing the right ladder for the job I always tell people that choosing to go get a ladder is the first choice you have to make.

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I know that it’s easier to just climb up on a chair or bar stool but that’s not what they were designed for. A lot of fall related accidents happen because people didn’t use a ladder.

There are 4 categories in choosing the right ladder for the job.

  1. Weight rating – make sure your weight and the weight of your tools and equipment don’t exceed the weight rating of your ladder.
  2. Material – always use a fiberglass ladder when working close to any power source.
  3. Style – if you are climbing onto a roof, do it from an extension ladder. If you are working in a staircase or uneven surface, use a multi-purpose ladder or one with the proper leveling devices installed. IMG_0658IMG_0629 IMG_0648
  4. Length – Do not climb on the top 2 steps of a step ladder or the top 3 rungs of an extension ladder. If you are climbing onto a roof make sure you have 3 feet of ladder above the roof as you transfer on and off the roof. Never add extra height to a ladder by stacking the ladder on boxes, pallets, etc.. Never gain extra length by lashing or tying two ladders together. IMG_0644 IMG_0663 IMG_0616 IMG_0617 IMG_0637

Always maintain three points of contact as you climb up and down a ladder. Face the ladder and keep the center of your body (belt buckle) between the side rails.

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I’m not sure if I should be more concerned about where he is standing or that he is using duct tape to fix an airplane.


I have no idea how the guy on top climbed from the ladder to where he is.


Creativity is the enemy of safety. When our engineers get creative, they have to build several ladders and run lots of tests to make sure it will be safe for you. When you get creative, the first time it gets tested is when you try it. Here some examples of what I’m talking about.

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Remember ladders are safety equipment. Don’t get creative. Follow the simple guidelines. Pick the right ladder, set it up properly and climb it cautiously.

Climb Safe and Climb On

Metal Ladder Disaster

Fiberglass ladders are the best option for industrial work

Fiberglass ladders are the best option for industrial work

This week, I ran across an article talking about a man who was injured when his metal ladder touched a power line. It seems like I run across articles on this topic more often than other types of ladder injuries.

Metal Ladder Accident

The injured man was working for a tree removal company and was part of a group of employees hired to remove several trees from a property. The man was asked to help move an aluminum 23-foot extension ladder. The top-heavy ladder fell over when the group tried to move it, falling into a group of power lines. Three other men were also holding the ladder when it fell, but they sustained only minor injuries while the first man had to have CPR.

So, what can we learn from this tragic accident?

The first lesson is to use a fiberglass ladder whenever there is a chance you will be by anything conducting electricity. Fiberglass ladders do not conduct electricity and are a much safer option for industrial work.

The second lesson is to use updated equipment. There should be no reason an extension ladder requires four people to carry it. Ladders have advanced, and there are plenty of sturdy, lightweight fiberglass ladders on the market.

Unfortunately, this man has suffered both major injuries and extreme costs as a result of the accident. With just a little more training and prevention taken by his boss, this accident could have easily been prevented.

Hopefully, we can learn from this man’s accident and not suffer the same fate.

Tips for Protecting Your Ladder

protectingPart of ladder safety is protecting your ladder and taking good care of it. Here are a few tips to help you better care for your ladder.

Protect it from the Elements

When your ladder isn’t being used, keep it inside, away from the sun, rain and snow. Keeping your ladder away from extremes in temperature can make it last longer. Fiberglass, for example, wears much more quickly when left in the sun than it does when in a garage or other building.

Keep it Clean

For safety reasons, you always want to wipe off anything that is slippery or sticky when it gets on the ladder. In addition to the obvious safety benefit, protecting your ladder from any substances will help it last longer.

Choose the Right Material

If you want your ladder to last a long time, the best material is aluminum. Obviously, aluminum does not work for every industry, but, as we mentioned earlier, there are great ways to make the fiberglass last longer. If you will be working outside a lot, while not working with electricity, aluminum may be your best option.

Hopefully these few tips will help your ladders last a little longer.

Transition Point Accident

701f272289c9038f5a84c41cffa43650Just last week, there was another ladder accident, this one in England.

The Story

A self-employed builder was stepping off the ladder onto a house he was working on when the ladder slipped out from under him, causing him to land on his back.

How to Prevent this type of Fall

Follow the Three Rung Rule

When a ladder is being used at the roof line, make sure the ladder extends three feet above the roof line. This will give the ladder a little more stability and help prevent slipping.

Use proper Equipment

Make sure you always the best equipment. The transition point between the ladder and the roof is where some of the worst ladder accidents take place, as is displayed in this news story. The Little Giant LedgeLock roof mount and walkthrough can help prevent these types of injuries when used with the Claw fastening system. The Walkthrough allows easy access to the roof while allowing the worker to maintain three points of contact at all times. With products like this, there is no reason to continue unsafe practices.

Hopefully we can learn from this sad story and remember to follow the precautions.

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