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When ladders go wrong...

May 04, 2017 0
Firefighters in Passaic, New Jersey, found out the hard way that ladders don't always work the way they should.  The crew had been called to a fire in a paper recycling plant, on 12th January, which had gotten very quickly out of hand.  Investigators determined that the plant staff had attempted to extinguish the blaze before calling the fire department, and the twenty foot high pile of bundled paper was certainly not helping to get the situation under control.  The fire department battled for two and a half hours before the fire was deemed to be under control, but it was still burning.  During the course of this action the top section of the vehicle-mounted extending ladder, that has a bucket at the top for crew to stand in, buckled and left the bucket sitting on top of the roof.  It...
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Ladder accidents in the workplace

April 18, 2017 0
Ladder accidents happen every day, some are serious but sometimes people are lucky,getting away with just a bit of bruising.  When these accidents happen at home it is often the result of poor ladder choice, inexperience or laziness – leading to over-reaching or carrying too much weight up the ladder.  When these accidents happen in the workplace, especially in a job where ladders are used routinely, it is a matter for the Health and Safety Executive to investigate.  The HSE ensures safety in the workplace and if they know there has been a serious accident they will look into it, often prosecuting and fining employers for negligence when it can be proved that they did not take the right steps to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace.In the case of Eugene Campbell, in N...
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Ladder exchange a success all round, except for one man...

April 14, 2017 0
After nearly a decade of annual ladder exchange events The Ladder Association had yet another successful campaign, a three-month event which saw all types of ladder being returned and exchanged for brand new, much safer models.   Chairman Martin Brooke was delighted with the response throughout the last months of 2016, citing the scheme as “a great example of how everyone can work together – regulator, trade body, its member organisations, industry and the public at large – to help keep people safe.”  The public at large is responsible for most of the entries into the Ladder Losers competition (formerly Idiots on Ladders) and this year one of the very early submissions turned out to be the winner, as we predicted on this very blog.  Yes indeed, the man trimming a tree using two...
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Ladder losers

March 03, 2017 0
The annual Ladder Association campaign for ladder safety is in full swing, and this year they are looking for both ladder losers; those who use ladders badly and ladder heroes; the best examples of good ladder use.  Our first example fits firmly into the first category.An online video shows a man trying to access a ceiling by using a stepladder.  Rather than setting the ladder up on the floor, where all four legs are stable, he decided to gain some extra height by setting it up on a folding table.  It is unclear why he thought that placing cardboard underneath the legs would help in any way; perhaps he thought the ladder would be less likely to slip on the cardboard than on the slippery table surface.  Unfortunately his train of thought stopped there and he did not consider that the ca...
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A rise in falls from ladders

February 22, 2017 0
Australian doctors have reported an increase of ladder falls over the past decade, to the tune of 47%; 5,000 people every year attend A&E, in Australia, following a fall from a ladder.  Most of these injuries occurred in the over 60s, with women and men seeing an almost equal rise in incidents involving ladders; over a decade the numbers of women over 60 increased by 81% and by 73% for men.  In the under 60 age group there was an increase of 30% in both men and women.  This large increase in ladder falls for the over 60s, increases the complexity of the case as well as the length of the hospital stay, as younger people tend to be less badly injured and also recover a lot more quickly.  Underlying health conditions in the older population also add to the complexity of broken bones and c...
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Firefighters to the rescue

February 20, 2017 0
Ladder accidents always increase around Christmas as homeowners dust off their ladders to hang decorations and lights both inside and out.  For many people it is one of the only times in a year that they will use this equipment and it is this inexperience that often causes the fall.  Erik Gaines, a father in Puyallup, Washington, knows all too well how devastating a fall can be after he broke several bones in his ankle, leg and shoulder trying to hang lights on the outside of his home, in early December.  His family called the emergency services and a fire crew arrived with their paramedic, to find Gaines lying in front of the house with an obviously broken leg.  They transported him to hospital, where he underwent surgery to pin the bones in his leg back together.  They were touched ...
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Ladder Challenge Accepted!

January 26, 2017 0
Professional snowboarders and film makers Jake Price and Lukas Huffman are celebrating the ten year anniversary of their cult snowboarding film ir77, with a remastered edition featuring several DVD exclusive shorts from the original film footage.  One of the mini features on the DVD is a very impressive ladder challenge; to build a functional ladder out of wood in just nine minutes.As they travelled from Canada to Romania, via Germany, fellow snowboarder Andrew Crawford found a wall he wanted to board off, but in order to get up there he needed a ladder.  They did not have one to hand, nor was there anyone they could borrow one from; so the challenge to build his own ladder in nine minutes was devised.  His friends didn't believe it can be done, and at points in the video they look like...
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An Educational Ladder

January 15, 2017 0
Schoolchildren in China's Sichuan province have recently been given a helping hand with their education after images appeared of them, aged between 6 and 15-years-old, scaling an 800 metre ladder, made of bamboo and vines, in order to get to school.  The children live in the mountain top village of Atule'er and attend a boarding school in a town at the bottom of the cliffs, only returning home every other weekend, due to the dangers involved in making the journey up and down the cliff face.Village chief Er Dijiang told reporters that people have died after falling off the ladder, which had suffered from rot in the past and required a lot of risky upkeep.  The prefectural government had to intervene and proposed replacing the old ladder with a new one made of steel poles, like the type us...
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The stranger side of ladders

December 29, 2016 0
Ladders are usually used for DIY and construction projects, but there are many other creative uses for ladders out there.  Our favourite story of the month is how a simple step ladder transformed one man’s wedding day.  Groom James Lusted was born with a rare genetic condition, Diastrophic Dysplasia, which causes dwarfism.  At 3'7” he stands a whole two feet shorter than his bride Chloe, but wanted to be able to kiss his new wife at the ceremony without her having to bend down.  The couple had been together for three years before getting engaged in 2014, and are looking forward to their new life together; as devout Christians they have waited for marriage to live together.  James had the four step ladder specially made for the big day and it features in their wedding photographs a...
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Ladder News – The serious, and not so serious side of ladder ownership

November 18, 2016 0
Ladders can be dangerous, and this time of year many homeowners are dusting off their rickety models for those once-a-year jobs like cleaning the gutters, scraping moss from the roof and putting up festive decorations.  There are many safety checks to perform when using a ladder, which we have written extensively about, but still people manage to injure themselves needlessly.  Three people in Danville, Virginia, were electrocuted on 15th October, when a ladder they had been using slipped against the side of the house and fell against an overhead power line.  They had been painting the windows on the upper level of the house, when the incident happened.  It was around midday.  All three were on the ground at the time moving the ladder, but they did not collapse it before doing so.  Wh...
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