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lorlor


Jun 12, 2012, 9:10 AM
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ladder safety
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I need to work with tools on a ladder, about 12' above the ground. Sometimes I need to use both hands, so I thought rockclimbers would be able to help with advice on how to do this safely.
I got a tie-down strap and I've been wrapping it around my waist, the outside of the ladder and one rung. This feels a lot safer. But the catch might release, it isn't designed to be totally secure.
How would you do this?
Laura


Partner j_ung


Jun 12, 2012, 10:00 AM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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lorlor wrote:
I need to work with tools on a ladder, about 12' above the ground. Sometimes I need to use both hands, so I thought rockclimbers would be able to help with advice on how to do this safely.
I got a tie-down strap and I've been wrapping it around my waist, the outside of the ladder and one rung. This feels a lot safer. But the catch might release, it isn't designed to be totally secure.
How would you do this?
Laura

Laura, I think it's a bad idea to tie yourself to the ladder at all, since if you do fall, it'll be both you and the ladder coming down together. It will impossible for you to land on your feetóbad juju.

Assuming this is an extension ladder, the real key to staying safe is solid footing for the ladder to counteract its tendency to be top heavy. The angle at which it leans against the wall should be about 18 degrees off vertical, a little less if the floor is slick. It's also a good idea to have somebody foot the ladder (stand at the bottom with feet braced against the ladder's feet and hands on the rails). Together, those make the ladder nice and stable, and all you'll have to do is not tip backward off it.

How do you find 18 degrees? Good question! With the ladder leaning against the wall and your toes against the ladder's feet, you should be able to reach the ladder at shoulder height with your torso upright and arms outstretched. If your arms are bent, the ladder is too steep. If you can't reach without leaning forward, it's not steep enough.

If you're on a step ladder, it's only slightly different. Make sure the ground is flat and uniform. And having somebody stand on the bottom rung is also a good idea.


lorlor


Jun 12, 2012, 10:14 AM
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Re: [j_ung] ladder safety [In reply to]
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the problem is if there's a sudden force, I have to yank on something or lean out or whatever, I might lose stability.
I looked into ladder safety recommendations, and they recommended either:
- a pole strap, which is something linemen use while climbing telephone poles. Ones I've seen seem quite elaborate, I thought there might be similar climbing equipment. Pole strap to wrap around ladder and one rung.
- hooking a leg around the ladder. Doesn't seem to work in practice
- not using a ladder if you have to use 2 hands, some kind of lift instead.
Laura


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Jun 12, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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lorlor wrote:
the problem is if there's a sudden force, I have to yank on something or lean out or whatever, I might lose stability.


Right, but if the ladder is stable, ala my steps above, then you have something to grab onto that won't simply fall down on top of you.

In reply to:
- a pole strap, which is something linemen use while climbing telephone poles. Ones I've seen seem quite elaborate, I thought there might be similar climbing equipment. Pole strap to wrap around ladder and one rung.

Unless I miss my guess, pole straps don't go around you and the ladderóthey go around the ladder and the pole, which accomplishes the same thing as above, i.e., they keep the ladder stable.

What exactly are you climbing the ladder for that you're worried about sudden forces? What will it be leaning against? And, what is the ground like at the base of the ladder?


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 12, 2012, 12:20 PM)


singletrackmike


Jun 12, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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I work from a ladder quite a bit as a chimney sweep. When I feel as though it's a bit sketchy, I put on an old climbing harness and clip in to the ladder with a loop of nylon webbing and a carabiner or two. As stated in the above reply, there's a possibility of the ladder coming down with you! If you can, tie off the ladder as well. You can do that in a number of ways. With me usually being against a chimney, I tie on to the chimney. I've done the same with good solid rain gutters also.
Be safe above all!


acorneau


Jun 12, 2012, 5:35 PM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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Another thought...

You should also look into the ladder stabilizer bars that attach at the top of the ladder, such as this:

http://www.grainger.com/...zer-4XN88?Pid=search


donald949


Jun 21, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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lorlor wrote:
I need to work with tools on a ladder, about 12' above the ground. Sometimes I need to use both hands, so I thought rockclimbers would be able to help with advice on how to do this safely.
I got a tie-down strap and I've been wrapping it around my waist, the outside of the ladder and one rung. This feels a lot safer. But the catch might release, it isn't designed to be totally secure.
How would you do this?
Laura
Laura, at my work I am not allowed to use rockclimbing harnesses. Just not approved/rated for industrial safety. The industrial full body harnesses are quite bulky and if I could use a climbing harness I surely would. In addition to the issues with the ladder falling with you, as other have noted, also the rungs aren't fall rated.
Anyrate, here is one of the fall protection vendors the company I work for uses. We have lots of guys working on scafolding etc, so we have quite the stock of fall protection equipment.
http://en.capitalsafety.us/...e/en-US/Default.aspx
One other thing I might mention, is a lot of the tie off lanyards offered are shock absorbing. This is too soften the fall. As climbers our ropes are designed to offer this same type of protection.
So there is some climbing gear that can be of help, but be aware of the differences. If you work for a company and not for yourself, they would certainly not allow climbing gear. Understand what you need for protection from hard catches, what you need for solid tie offs, and what is required by your company. Be safe up there. Don


markc


Jun 21, 2012, 1:05 PM
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Re: [singletrackmike] ladder safety [In reply to]
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singletrackmike wrote:
I work from a ladder quite a bit as a chimney sweep. When I feel as though it's a bit sketchy, I put on an old climbing harness and clip in to the ladder with a loop of nylon webbing and a carabiner or two. As stated in the above reply, there's a possibility of the ladder coming down with you! If you can, tie off the ladder as well. You can do that in a number of ways. With me usually being against a chimney, I tie on to the chimney. I've done the same with good solid rain gutters also.
Be safe above all!

I'm a former sweep, and this is pretty much what I'm doing on a home project right now. I have enough retired rope that I've lashed my extension ladder to my chimney, and when necessary I anchor in to a short piece of rope girth-hitched to the top rung. My angle is pretty steep by necessity, and there are times when I'm working with both hands. This makes me (and my wife) happy.

A technique I've used when I need both hands is to put one arm between the ladder and the house. I can brace against the ladder with my upper arm while still having use of my hand. How functional that is really depends upon what you're trying to do and your position relative to your work.

I agree with singletrackmike and Jay that you really don't want to secure yourself to a ladder unless it's secured, as well. Taking a fall off a ladder or roof is dangerous enough without assuring that the ladder is coming down on top of you.


tradmanclimbs


Jun 21, 2012, 1:26 PM
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Re: [markc] ladder safety [In reply to]
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If you have to do any kind of real demmo work and or building/ construction it is much safer to stage the work area rather than work from ladders.


Partner drector


Jun 21, 2012, 2:00 PM
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Re: [singletrackmike] ladder safety [In reply to]
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singletrackmike wrote:
I work from a ladder quite a bit as a chimney sweep. When I feel as though it's a bit sketchy, I put on an old climbing harness and clip in to the ladder with a loop of nylon webbing and a carabiner or two. As stated in the above reply, there's a possibility of the ladder coming down with you! If you can, tie off the ladder as well. You can do that in a number of ways. With me usually being against a chimney, I tie on to the chimney. I've done the same with good solid rain gutters also.
Be safe above all!

I have to ask. If you are tied to the ladder and you fall, is there any change of the ladder NOT falling with you? If the ladder is attached to the structure then attaching to the ladder seems fine but a lose ladder seems like trouble in the event of any fall by the climber and worse if attached to the climber.

Is this an accepted industrial practice?

BTW, I watched a guy fall off the top (not top step but top of) a 6 foot tall ladder onto concrete. Wow did that hurt just watching. I then drove him to the ER and hung out until a significant-other arrived. He had the most exciting x-rays I've ever seen.

Dave


singletrackmike


Jun 21, 2012, 8:00 PM
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Re: [drector] ladder safety [In reply to]
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The times I have tied off to a ladder that was not secured to something else, I had my tie-in point tight, and kept my center of gravity pretty much centered on the ladder. That, I'm sure, kept the chances of the ladder coming down in the event of a fall, fairly slim.
I don't think there's any accepted Industry Standard In working from a ladder like I do, and if OSHA were to get involved, they'd probably have a lot to say about it.
There was a time about ten years ago where OSHA did mandate that anyone working on ANY roof that was more than 10 ft (I think) off the ground had to be tied off to a device that was SCREWED into the roof. They received so much flack from a couple of different trades that they relented on that.
I too witnessed a fall from a step ladder by a guy in his late 50's. He was pretty messed up from a head injury/concussion.
I've been blessed that after 20 years of working off of ladders and roofs that I've never fallen, though there was this one time that was close, and it really scared the heck out of me.


majid_sabet


Jun 21, 2012, 10:12 PM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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Here are some general rules I tell my students when they are going to work with ladder.

First, you make sure you do not extend the ladder all the way. Basically try to use 75% of the heights and you always want someone to be near by in case things go south.

Secure the ladder with cord or webbing and that is tricky and you may need to use some basic engineering to position and secure things on the right angle and the right place.

Second, Never directly attach yourself to Ladder and if you go above 6 feet where you need to have your hands free then you must be secured with separate harness (fall arrest type) and separate rope system. This is in case you loose the ladder and you do not fall and die.

Now, if climbing above 20+ feet then its best to use two rope system, beefy anchor along with few other things.







healyje


Jun 22, 2012, 4:04 AM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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Some combination of ladder standoffs, levelers and hooks are what I usually use depending on the situation.

http://www.industrialladder.com/...es.do?categoryID=777


markc


Jun 22, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Re: [healyje] ladder safety [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
Some combination of ladder standoffs, levelers and hooks are what I usually use depending on the situation.

http://www.industrialladder.com/...es.do?categoryID=777

I really ought to invest in some levelers for my personal extension ladder. I miss them every time I'm fiddling with scrap wood to get things just right.


mheyman


Jun 23, 2012, 6:21 AM
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Re: [lorlor] ladder safety [In reply to]
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lorlor wrote:
I need to work with tools on a ladder, about 12' above the ground. Sometimes I need to use both hands, so I thought rockclimbers would be able to help with advice on how to do this safely.

How would you do this?
Laura

Responses here are good, but you really haven't provided enough information for anyone to understand what you are doing.

Generally climbing gear is not considered adequate for commercial use. Aside from some knots and the fact that climbers and workers at height might wear a harness, climbing techniques aren't used in commercial or industrial settings. For heavy long term work scaffolding, fixed or portable, or a reach of some type might be worthwhile. On the other hand this might be something many of us would do in an hour without even thinking about it. I've seen installers nailing siding on 20+ foot ladders with no security, easily, comfortably, and efficiently hop their ladder along the ground as they nailed.

If you aren't going to follow OSHA standards then you probably need to at least make yourself comfortable for any non-trivial work. A good picture would convey a lot of information.


timbright89


Jul 10, 2012, 3:04 PM
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i agree with acorneau

and those pictures look quite familiar too


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