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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Ladders??


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33 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Nabisco

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:19 PM

Well i have had my fiberglass ladders alost 4 years now and i was wondering if there is a life on them? i wonder this, i got them new and now years later the top coating appears to have wore down to where the glass fibers are starting to poke out, i would just re do the top coat but i figured there is some safety reason that i shouldnt so what do you think?
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#2 OFFLINE   Newshawk

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 11:44 PM

Um, I think this should be in the installation/MDU forum?

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#3 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 11:50 PM

I think it should be in the OT forum :P

As for an answer, if it were me I would probably just re-do the ends, but I bet there are some ladder experts that know better than me. :)
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#4 OFFLINE   Manctech

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 02:19 AM

Need to take it to someone who inspects and repairs ladders. they do have a shelf life and proper care and maintenance is required. We just had all of ours refitted will all new hardware and inspected for any faults.

Last thing you want is a cracking ladder once your 20' high!

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#5 OFFLINE   Justin85

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 02:42 AM

I may be biased, since I do literally use ladders for life safety purposes, but you need to have your ladders inspected by a professional AT LEAST annually, and you need to personally inspect it EVERY time you climb, not every day, EVERY TIME! Being a tech, you need to follow OSHA guidelines, which require inspections and safety checks.

#6 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 07:06 AM

I may be biased, since I do literally use ladders for life safety purposes, but you need to have your ladders inspected by a professional AT LEAST annually, and you need to personally inspect it EVERY time you climb, not every day, EVERY TIME! Being a tech, you need to follow OSHA guidelines, which require inspections and safety checks.


Being techs. Nice phrase. Did you know that EVERY TIME you place a ladder against a house and climb up it you are breaking a federal regulation? OSHA mandates in their Ladder Safety Rules that ladders are to be secured at the top to the structure in such a way that the ladder cannot slip or slide. In the rare instances you guys have a helper, the helper can "foot" the ladder and you can climb up it without securing it to the structure.

In other more simple terms, you really need two men to properly use an extension ladder according to OSHA guidelines. I've never seen an instance where an extension ladder can be secured to a structure by one man. Think about it: In order to secure the ladder to a structure you have to first climb the ladder to get on the roof to secure it. You need a second man to "foot" the ladder while you're doing that.

What it boils down to is that every time you go out by yourselves, unless you have a ladder that somehow secures itself to the structure (never seen one) your company is liable for any accidents that occur and if reported to OSHA, as they should be, those accidents will trigger OSHA inspections of your company and the way they address safety of their employees in every aspect.

The cable company in my area does have ladders that have a sort of hook on top of each leg that attaches to the cable wires near the poles. That satisfies OSHA guidelines. I've never seen a D* installer use a ladder correctly.

I used to teach ladder safety courses for my company. Ladders are very unsafe when not used properly and cause many serious accidents.

Rich

Edited by Rich, 07 September 2010 - 11:03 AM.
Misspelled word.


#7 OFFLINE   Justin85

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 04:11 PM

Being techs. Nice phase...


I did not mean that in a negative way, what I was meaning was, you are not a homeowner using a ladder, you are doing so on the job, so you need to follow OSHA. Joe homeowner doesn't give a crap about OSHA and doesn't have to follow it, that's all I meant.

Btw, you are correct, you need to at a minimum, tie off both the ladder and yourself. It's quick, and easy to stay safe, always wear a ladder belt when you climb, use a tie off strap to secure the ladder, and clip in.

If you need to work on top of the roof that's a different story.... even the fire service is guilty of not wearing proper arrest harnesses when working there.

#8 OFFLINE   photostudent

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 05:41 PM

Well painting is out for sure. OHSA made me destroy one because it had been painted.

#9 OFFLINE   Nabisco

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 06:32 PM

well i am always lookin, and feeling and its at a point where i thought i would ask because you are right i dont want them breakin on me......EVER! is there a place i can take them in and get a honest opinion?
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#10 OFFLINE   Tisby

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:32 PM

My HSP does annual inspections of their ladders (6' & 28') & mine (16'). I've turned in a later between inspections because of wear. My understanding is if the fiberglass fibers are sticking out it's nearing its death throes. Think about it though, the ladders are exposed 24x7. It's sitting on my ladder rack or outside 100% of the time. UV + Mother Nature will wear it down...

#11 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 09:33 PM

My HSP does annual inspections of their ladders (6' & 28') & mine (16'). I've turned in a later between inspections because of wear. My understanding is if the fiberglass fibers are sticking out it's nearing its death throes. Think about it though, the ladders are exposed 24x7. It's sitting on my ladder rack or outside 100% of the time. UV + Mother Nature will wear it down...


I've been reading the West System FG materials catalog for the same reason.
No info yet. Best thing I have come up with is industrial marker tape to redo color in safety orange.

Gonna contact some manufactures.

Good topic!

Joe

Edited by joe diamond, 06 September 2010 - 09:35 PM.
typo


#12 OFFLINE   Brian Hanasky

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:50 AM

This must be the DBSTalk/Lowes thread.

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#13 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:03 AM

I did not mean that in a negative way, what I was meaning was, you are not a homeowner using a ladder, you are doing so on the job, so you need to follow OSHA. Joe homeowner doesn't give a crap about OSHA and doesn't have to follow it, that's all I meant.

Btw, you are correct, you need to at a minimum, tie off both the ladder and yourself. It's quick, and easy to stay safe, always wear a ladder belt when you climb, use a tie off strap to secure the ladder, and clip in.


You missed my point. How do you go up the ladder and secure it by yourself? You need two people any way you look at it. The ladder must be secured at the top of the ladder or footed by another person. You need two people to do the job under OSHA's regs. Once you have the ladder secured, you can let the other person go, but, initially, it's a two man job.

If you need to work on top of the roof that's a different story.... even the fire service is guilty of not wearing proper arrest harnesses when working there.


Fire departments don't fall under the OSHA regs that you do. For you, I believe it's a four foot distance from the edge of the roof that must be maintained if you are not tied off to a chimney or pipe or something of that nature. If you go into that prohibited zone OSHA says you SHALL wear a harness and be tied off securely. And when OSHA uses the word "shall" that means that there is no good argument that will get your employer out of trouble if you are caught or injured.

Rich

#14 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:07 AM

well i am always lookin, and feeling and its at a point where i thought i would ask because you are right i dont want them breakin on me......EVER! is there a place i can take them in and get a honest opinion?


The company you work for is obligated by federal regs to inspect all ladders at set intervals. The burden is theirs, not yours. We destroyed any ladders that we suspected might fail for any reason. Immediately.

Rich

#15 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:07 AM

This must be the DBSTalk/Lowes thread.


It is a serious deal. I personally know of one CATV job I declined because the ladder could not be used safely. Instead of sending the bucket truck they just sent another tech who tried it and died.

Got any ideas when a FG ladder becomes prone to failure? The don't rust but painting hides cracks. Tape doesn't add strength.

For now I just fully extend it horizontally, put one end on a tailgate and bounce on it. If it ever breaks I'll get a new one.

Joe

#16 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:13 AM

My HSP does annual inspections of their ladders (6' & 28') & mine (16'). I've turned in a later between inspections because of wear. My understanding is if the fiberglass fibers are sticking out it's nearing its death throes. Think about it though, the ladders are exposed 24x7. It's sitting on my ladder rack or outside 100% of the time. UV + Mother Nature will wear it down...


I was at a seminar one day and the topic of ladders came up. The instructor said, "Ladders are like milk, when in doubt, throw it/them out." I know they are expensive, but not nearly as expensive as paying for a catastrophic fall.

Rich

#17 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:20 AM

It is a serious deal. I personally know of one CATV job I declined because the ladder could not be used safely. Instead of sending the bucket truck they just sent another tech who tried it and died.

Got any ideas when a FG ladder becomes prone to failure? The don't rust but painting hides cracks. Tape doesn't add strength.

For now I just fully extend it horizontally, put one end on a tailgate and bounce on it. If it ever breaks I'll get a new one.

Joe


Ladder safety is very serious. The one thing in this thread I haven't seen is the extension ladder placement rules. There are set rules for placing extension ladders properly. They MAY only be used in certain ways. The height of the ladder and the height of the roof determines how far away the ground legs of the ladder may be placed from the structure you are gonna climb. Too close to the structure and you may fall backwards. Too far away and the ladder will belly and might break.

Rich

#18 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:23 AM

It is a serious deal. I personally know of one CATV job I declined because the ladder could not be used safely. Instead of sending the bucket truck they just sent another tech who tried it and died.

Got any ideas when a FG ladder becomes prone to failure? The don't rust but painting hides cracks. Tape doesn't add strength.

For now I just fully extend it horizontally, put one end on a tailgate and bounce on it. If it ever breaks I'll get a new one.

Joe


Joe, if you have doubts about a ladder, don't use it. It's that simple. Your employer should supply you with inspection records when you ask for them. Once you tell your employer you think a ladder is unsafe, he is obligated by federal regs to do something about it. Simplest and cheapest thing to do is destroy it.

Rich

#19 OFFLINE   joe diamond

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:12 PM

Joe, if you have doubts about a ladder, don't use it. It's that simple. Your employer should supply you with inspection records when you ask for them. Once you tell your employer you think a ladder is unsafe, he is obligated by federal regs to do something about it. Simplest and cheapest thing to do is destroy it.

Rich


Rich,

There you go with that common sense again. One of the details of how the game is played is that when a new guy applies for what seems like an employee position he gradually discovers he is being signed up and slid into a contractor position. This is a new and different world for most of them.

As one of the major regional builders put it years ago, "..we don't care if the guy sleeps in the bath tub all afternoon...we pay for completed paint jobs......if he is so slow the carpet and floor guys can't work we will get him off the site and put in two other contractors to get back on schedule..."

Likewise.........the sat contractor is free to operate as he feels will be an acceptable risk for him. OSHA can ban metal ladders from all sites but just does not have the horsepower to inspect the thousands of one man corporations out there. It goes like that.

Ladder inspections happen in the VZ yard and the union holds their feet to the fire on it. The "contractors" doing sat work look at a questionable ladder and think..."which kid do I not feed today?" The money is that low.

Joe

#20 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:37 PM

Rich,

There you go with that common sense again. One of the details of how the game is played is that when a new guy applies for what seems like an employee position he gradually discovers he is being signed up and slid into a contractor position. This is a new and different world for most of them.


I don't really understand how they get away with that. But assuming that it's legal, they still have the same obligations. I was in charge of contractors for a large plant, sometimes having in excess of a hundred or more a day and we had the obligation to make sure we provided a safe workplace. The obligation to provide a safe workplace runs uphill. Just because they treat you as contractors, ultimately they are responsible for providing a safe workplace. Providing a safe workplace is OSHA's main thrust.

As one of the major regional builders put it years ago, "..we don't care if the guy sleeps in the bath tub all afternoon...we pay for completed paint jobs......if he is so slow the carpet and floor guys can't work we will get him off the site and put in two other contractors to get back on schedule..."


But if the painter breaks his leg getting out of that bathtub, that is an OSHA reportable injury and the builder is responsible for generating that report. If he ignores it, the full weight of OSHA will descend upon him if they find out.

Likewise.........the sat contractor is free to operate as he feels will be an acceptable risk for him. OSHA can ban metal ladders from all sites but just does not have the horsepower to inspect the thousands of one man corporations out there. It goes like that.


OSHA inspectors don't go looking for violations. They wait for an employee to call them and report an injury or the possibility of an injury that the person with the responsibility to provide a safe workplace must provide. Once they are notified, they descend upon the violator very quickly. I was on the wrong side several times and I learned very quickly.

Ladder inspections happen in the VZ yard and the union holds their feet to the fire on it. The "contractors" doing sat work look at a questionable ladder and think..."which kid do I not feed today?" The money is that low.


I know it's a difficult position to be in. I know the money isn't great, but falling off a ladder can cause horrendous injuries. All it takes is a phone call to your local OSHA office to straighten things out. I know you put your job at risk when you do that, but there are laws in place to protect whistle-blowers. I was never happy when I was the subject of an OSHA investigation, but I never went after the person that caused that investigation. Would have been foolish and I could have lost my job.

Rich




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