[COLOR=“teal”][SIZE=“4”][FONT=“Century Gothic”]This thread is dedicated to all those cleaners who have been injured or killed while using their ladders ! I hope all here will be safe ! [/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR]
[COLOR=“red”]Everyone here on the WCR External FORUM is invited and encouraged to reveal techniques and processes that they have acquired throughout their tenure as Window cleaners !
Infuse any stories of close calls or accident caused by pilot error while using a ladder, so we can reflect on and apply safety, is encouraged ! Even the simplest of safety technique will be helpful to everyones safety !
The first ladder safety technique…
This is a very very very simple put important process to ladder safety !
Once you have set your ladder (set meaning;ready to ascend) stand on the first rung and then pull or bounce your ladder away from the building and then let it softly land back on to the building…
If the top of the ladder does not land exactly where it was first set,step off the ladder and re-set it so that when you get on the first rung and pull the ladder away again, the top will land where you first set it !
Usually if the ladders top is not secure when you check it ,most likely it’s the base that is not set square with the top and when that is the case the top will move…better it moves while checking it on the first rung then having it move once you reach the top ! Check double check.
This is extremely crucial on all ladder sets especially at the tip of piece ladders where the tips are set on frames,mullions or corners ( they will roll where extension ladder will slide) ! Either failure can throw you off the ladder or cause the ladder to fall with you on it !
I once set my ladder against a flat roof that had a metal edge. Now I had been cleaning this particular window for around 6 years every 1/4 ! I would always use a piece ladder and set it in the corners, Getting it cleaned by using 2 sets.
This time I tried my 28’ alaco extension ladder in the center of the window against the metal edge of the roof fully extended to the third floor.
I went up a ladder without checking the set at the bottom rung…Which I knew that I should do but figured ah why worry I’ve been doing this long enough why worry (So I cut a corner in my safety process) !
I got all the way to the top without any movement then reached in to wet the window. That’s when the ladder began to slide ( metal on metal will slide, be aware).
This all took just moments…I thought it would stop sliding as it was sliding, I had nothing to grab,at the apex point that I knew the ladder was going and not stopping I figured I’d have a better chance if I jumped off…At least it would be me that determined how I would land (in this particular situation, in a different scenario jumping may have killed me).
So I looked down and there was a stair case that came down to a square 8’ landing that had another set of stair that continued down to the ground !
Now I new if I just fell that one of the rails would go right up my crotch or that I would slam my head against one of the rail, So I knew I needed to, l’d need to drop straight down into the center of the landing ! This all just took moments to think then jump !
I jumped and landed on my feet into a squat and into a roll…But I had no where to roll unless I went down the last five step and then I could of broke my neck ! So from the squat I could only go to my butt !
Well suffice to say I only got a hairline fracture in one of my feet and I survived the fall,but I could have been killed or seriously injured. I give God the credit for watching over me ! Because it was me that cut the safety corner that put me into dire strait.
Sure this is another wordy long story BUT if it causes others to (as the RACER said) " TO THINK FIRST " then it is worth it !
So check your ladder set from the first rung before you ascend, make it part of your physical anatomy, ergo like breathing or your heart pumping, making it happen automatically. YOUR LIFE OR OTHERS YOU TRAIN LIVES MAY DEPEND ON IT !
DANGER DANGER DANGER-Dave
Think Things Through !