Tag: fiberglass ladders

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.

Reminders for Your Fiberglass Ladders

Fiberglass ladders are commonly used ladders since they are sturdy and can be used around electricity. While these ladders are common, it is still important to remind our teams of a couple of safety precautions specific to fiberglass.

Fiberglass Safety

worn fiberglass ladders

Shedding Fiberglass

Remind your team to always inspect the ladders, whether fiberglass or aluminum, to ensure they are still in working order. If you use fiberglass ladders on your job site, make sure to train your team how to tell when a fiberglass ladder needs to be retired. Train your team to check for cracks, bends or other damage.  If the ladder is worn, make sure to remind your team to take it from service and mark it as unusable.

Make sure they check the fiberglass and make sure it is still in good shape. A lot of times, fiberglass ladders are carried on the top of a vehicle and the sun beats down on the ladder. After time, the sun causes the fiberglass to become worn and bleached. While lighter colored fiberglass isn’t necessarily something to worry about, once the glass fibers begin shedding it is time for a new ladder.

Caring for Your Fiberglass Ladders

For the most part, fiberglass is cared for the same way other ladders are. The main difference with fiberglass ladders is protecting the fiberglass from getting

good fiberglass ladders

Fiberglass in good condition

too bleached and aged. One way to slow down the process is to keep the ladder from the sun. Instead of keeping the ladder on the work truck, for example, you could see if there is any room inside the vehicle. If your team has no option except to have the ladder go on the top of the vehicle, just keep an eye on it (and train your team to do the same) to prevent anyone from using a worn out ladder.

We want to help you get your team home safe at night. We hope you and your team will find these tips for using fiberglass ladders helpful.

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