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FasterBetterCheaper
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Just felt this should be a new thread as it's just for reading: not asking for replies necessary.. unless you have a similar story or whatever. Just want to share this.

I fell last year off a ladder that was perpendicular to a stairway: hard wood stairs must have been a bit smaller run than normal and maybe waxed as it was a high-end house. Anyway, I tested my block (a PiViT) that I've used a hundred times. I went up a rung or two and tested with a shake...Fine. I went to the top and the block slipped out and there was no place to go but down.

As the ladder slipped along the drywall, with my foam pads somewhat slowing it, there was no time to think. But I do remember thinking, yes, it's happening.

Here is what I wanted to share with all you folks to hopefully help you if it happens to you.

For all my years doing this, I would sometimes run a mental drill: what would I do if... What if it went sideways right now? Back? What if the feet slipped back? There are only 4 directions it can go. I would do a mental drill and plan to jump on that spot or do this. I always planned on the spot I would jump for so I would not fall clinging to the ladder.

There is not time to decide: you have to drill mentally. That is my one heart's message to you.

Well, the day it happened, when I was about 6 feet from the MARBLE foyer floor, I picked my spot and landed on my feet. The ladder landed on my leg and I limped for about a week, but I did not die. I took the next day off and came back to finish the F**^(ER and that was my last job ever.

So please rehearse your fall that will hopefully never come. Pick your spot and jump and maybe roll to safety. Check that block carefully!
 

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Good ideas. Also make sure things are clear under you. Landing on floor is bad enough, landing on tools, cans of paint, other ladders...
 

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I personally dont have a recorded fall on my books but have seen a broken back and couple twisted ankles working for other contractors. People get ahead of themselves and ladder safety gets put to the back burner. I also purchased one of the pivot blocks but actually do not use it on stairs as it hasnt worked on any of the houses I have worked on, works like a dream on roof lines though.

I'm usually calling another painting contractor to help me with spotting sketchy areas above ground. Its worth it to pay $100 to my buddy to spot me get those tough areas, its works vise versa for him as well.
 

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I just did a trim piece near the roof-line about 28' up yesterday. It was the first exterior of the year. I was terrified because I had to look up and reach for it. The ladder was probably too short for the job and I don't own a 32' footer. A pair of Standoffs
with a 32 footer would have been the correct ladder to use. That's the last time I do a job like that. No more frickin' high exteriors unless I have a lift.
 

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I was painting a small student centre at the University of Waterloo. An electrician needed to reach up and over this fancy wood suspended ceiling. No way to do it easily. He came to the other side of the site to me and asked if I could hold the ladder for him so it didn't kick out at the bottom.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't do the job if it isn't safe. It's never worth the money to risk your life.
 

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Safety before everything. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. For construction site safety, I think everyone must follow the construction site safety guide at Connect BuildNext.
 

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Construction site safety is heavily regulated, and skirting the rules could result in significant fines. Should an accident occur onsite, you may be on the hook for medical bills and property damage…..not to mention a potentially significant loss of business reputation. Yikes, right? In order to mitigate this from happening to you and your company, try conducting regular safety training sessions, safety audits and compliance audits throughout the entire lifecycle of the project
 

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Worth mentioning that fatigue is a real component to ladder safety.

Know when you’re tired, or not up to par. Don’t do it if you are either tired or not 100%.

it’s not worth it.

Maybe you got the job done this time, but what about next time?

we do a lot of talk exteriors, and there is no room for half-assing a ladder set-up, or being careless- ever.
 

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Another resurrected thread but a timeless issue. I've not had any serious ladder mishaps. I'm generally pretty paranoid about it so it makes me very careful. (Although, (probably) like most others I bend the rules at various times).

What started to get me in a little trouble was when I started needing reading glasses. If I forget to pull them before a decent, it throws off my depth perception. And it's trickier if I'm in my bifocal safeties or sunglasses because those stay on and I have to be sure to get the head tilt right so I'm not looking through the magnifier. I did skin a shin or two early on (missing a rung) before getting used to thinking about this as part of ladder routine.
 

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Age is also something to consider..I was speaking with a retired NY fire chief a couple of months ago about a study done on non-occupational household injuries which was conducted somewheres in NZ or AU. I think I recall the study stating that the #1 cause for non occupational household injuries experienced by males 50 and over are ladder falls from 3 meters or less.

It had been brought up in discussion when the retired chief stopped by my job site and saw me up on a 40 while painting 37’ above grade with an additional 8’ drop below grade due to the basement stair well height beneath me, being I’m in my late 50s.
 

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I had an exterior, ladder-filled work day interrupted once when the guy next door fell off of and old rickety step ladder. Smacked his head and bled a lot. We tended to him and his wife while waiting for an ambulance. They were in their 70s or so. (And his wife was doing at some "I told you so.") If there are US data on this, I'm sure he's in there...
 

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Another resurrected thread but a timeless issue. I've not had any serious ladder mishaps. I'm generally pretty paranoid about it so it makes me very careful. (Although, (probably) like most others I bend the rules at various times).

What started to get me in a little trouble was when I started needing reading glasses. If I forget to pull them before a decent, it throws off my depth perception. And it's trickier if I'm in my bifocal safeties or sunglasses because those stay on and I have to be sure to get the head tilt right so I'm not looking through the magnifier. I did skin a shin or two early on (missing a rung) before getting used to thinking about this as part of ladder routine.
Joe, you need to stop carrying a book up the ladder with you, no need for reading glasses when painting! Ok, bad joke, but I need reading glasses only to read, not to paint. You do make a good point about bifocals, I can see where they could be problematic while doing ladder work.
 

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Joe, you need to stop carrying a book up the ladder with you, no need for reading glasses when painting! Ok, bad joke, but I need reading glasses only to read, not to paint. You do make a good point about bifocals, I can see where they could be problematic while doing ladder work.
:LOL:. Well, I'll tell you. When I figured this out was one summer while working on a remodel. I'm a contact lens wearer and my prescription was out of date (but I didn't have much time to stop for an eye appt). So I was operating off of an old pair of disposable contacts that I kept just disinfecting/soaking (even though technically that's not what you're supposed to do). So I was having trouble seeing my cut lines and just kept thinking "I really need to get some new dang contacts." Then one night I was goofing around and put my wife's reading glasses on, playing granny or something - and that's when the light bulb went off.

So maybe you don't need them for painting, but I do (if I want anything to look right). And what's annoying is that I need different strengths. If I'm working right up in my face (like withing 18") I need something like +2 - +2.5. But between about 18" and literally like 3' I need +1.5. (I wear 1.5s for reading computer screen but switch to 2 or 2.5 to read from paper). Past about 3' I'm fine with nothing, but my arms are only so long! Generally just wearing 1.5's for prep and cutting and trying to keep the right distance. But I always have some 2.5's stashed in the truck.

I hate getting old.
 
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