Category: Cable

This One Hits Close to Home

draper accidentIt feels like every day there is an accident involving a ladder being reported in the news. Each of these stories is tragic and makes me think about what I can do to prevent these types of accidents. Having said that, every now and again, there is a story that makes me think even more about what I can do to make a difference and to prevent injuries and save lives. I recently ran into one of those stories.

The Story

I took this story personally because it happened so close to home for me.  This story comes from Draper, Utah which is just about 40 minutes from me. Three men were repairing an air conditioner at the top of a building. They were bringing equipment up and down the ladder when the ladder fell into some power lines. The men weren’t on the ladder itself when it fell, but were touching the aluminum ladder. One of the men died and, as of the most recent update, the other two were in critical condition.

What Could Have Been Done

The first way to prevent this type of accident would have been to use a fiberglass ladder. The workers probably thought their aluminum ladder would work just fine since they weren’t working on electrical lines. However, this tragic story is a perfect example of why fiberglass ladders are appropriate for any job that is remotely close to the power line.

The second way to potentially prevent this accident would be to make sure the ladder is at the correct angle. Those reporting on the accident did not have enough information to know exactly what caused the ladder to fall, but, one potential cause would be having the ladder at the wrong angle. If the ladder is at too wide of angle, it can easily slip forward, but having it at too sharp of an angle could make the ladder fall backward. When using an extension ladder, the ladder should be angles to 75.5 degrees in order to prevent a fall.

This story is so sad. I hope the two men in critical condition are able to make a full recovery. Let us learn from their mistakes and remember to use the correct ladders at the correct angle.

Make sure your ladder is visible to others!

This is a classic (and tragic) example of why it’s important to make sure your ladder is visible in all conditions. Especially if you’re working in high-traffic areas or at night.

I have heard several stories where a ladder operator does everything right, and someone else runs into his or her ladder and causes an accident. Sometimes these stories have a happy result and others end in life-altering or fatal accidents. These kinds of incidents are especially common in the utility, telecom, and cable/satellite TV industries.

Choosing a brightly colored ladder and enhancing visibility with reflective labels may literally save your life!

Rungs vs. Rails: The Debate

The editors of Safety & Health magazine asked their readers to share their opinions on holding the side rails of a ladder versus holding the rungs while ascending or descending. They received some very interesting responses. Click here for the full Safety & Health article. (Pages 10 and 11)

What do you think? Should you hold the rails or the rungs?

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