Today: 1st Time I Fell Off a Ladder (15 Ft)


Just finished cleaning the gutters and got ready to finish up the outside windows.

There were 3 Casements above the Basement doors (Bilco Design) and I set up my ladder on them. I
have done this a few other times, but sure enough there must have been some dirt+whatever+ water on them and after i cleaned the first one, I grabber for my scrubber and in a blink of an eye I went downward.

It must of been the most graceful fall ever, I could had landed on the Porch railing but instead the ladder beat me to the ground and I landed on the Bilco door ( my rear end)

My head was around 18 feet in the air, and my feet were about 12-13 feet off the ground.

I have a small scratch on my shin but other than that I walked away unharmed. I’m very lucky.

Moral of story, Don’t replace speed for safety… I didn’t feel like getting my heavy duty ladder out to plant the feet in front of the Bilco doors.

Sure enough It took longer to take the other ladder down and go get the heavy duty one.

Learn from it.

Glad you are alright man.

its good that your ok!

I’m glad to hear that you’re okay. So what do you think happened to cause the fall and how can you prevent it from happening again? It’s important to know because the next time may not be so forgiving.

I’m thinking that there was some left over water + dirt that made it slick.

all I had to to is get the 300lb ladder so i could set the feet back a few more feet. even though its a greater angle, the ladder is dug into dirt and woln’t move.

Glad you’re OK. Be safe out there!

It’s these moments that can take away everything in a blink of an eye, all to save a minute or two. Good thing you’re okay. Aside from that, you can actually survive a ladder slip fairly unscathed if you just hold on and let it ride. It’s when you fall off the ladder that things get real bad.

yeah that was always my game plan if something like this was to happen, but unforntunalty, no hands were ready to grab.

You are very lucky, I fell only about 10 feet. I wasn’t on a ladder, just kind of a sub roof. When I was scrubbing the window a frame I was holding onto fell off and I fell backwards but spun around in the air and landed on my feet except my butt came down and hit the back of my ankle and did a twist fracture on it. Basically it destroyed my ankle, they wanted to fuse it together I didn’t let that happen but to this day I wear a leg brace, I can’t run, if I’m on my leg too much it swell ups.

That happened about 10 years ago exactly, it was the last day I ever worked for someone else because I’m basically cripple up so I had to start my own business. I did high rises all over the city and I fall 10ft on a house… %^($#3

Happy to hear it wasn’t worse.

Good to hear your alright. I fell off a little giant about 3 years ago. It was only 12 feet but just about any height could even kill you if you land the wrong way.

It’s a terrible hopeless feeling. I too was in a rush and took a needless chance by standing on the very top and knowing full well that the ground was soft. Anymore I don’t take these risks. It’s just not worth it over a stupid piece of glass. When I fell, I saw a huge rock and made sure to avoid it by curling in a ball. It hurt really bad and I just tried to shake it off like nothing happened because I was so embarrassed.

Glad it wasn’t worse.
Good reminder on safety before speed.

Was that on your own or with me Jerry?

I think it was when you were on vacation and Dave and I were doing your jobs. Either that or you were doing some estimates that day and took the day off… oh wait you rarely took a day off just to do estimates. lol. yeah when I worked for you. I had never fell on my own. Go figure, right?

Dave of course, was like brush it off you pansy we got to finish this job or dan’s going to kill us. No, he didn’t say that. He let me take a 5 minute breather!

Glad your ok. Be super cautious next time using any type of ladder, becouse you might not be so lucky if you fall again. I had a friend of mines he did painting, well he fell off or sliped a 2ft step ladder banged his head on the fall, he was knocked out. He later died at the hospital for internal bleeding. So don’t under estimate any ladder my fellow window cleaners. Safety first.

Seth, I too am glad youre ok…hopefully it will make one of us think tomorrow not to climb one step too high or overstretch an extra few inches or be careless in any way just to save a few seconds. You may have saved one of us from doing something stupid. Take care…be safe!

glad to hear your ok! it freaks me out hearing stories like this since im the only ladder guy for our company and crew of 3.

Oh man. These kinds of things are very scary.

on this forum ive read a few times about "riding the ladder down " being best way, but whats this advice based on ? ive had a few moments when my ladder moved on me (but luckily never gone the whole hog) , im thinking there would never be the time to grab a hold . i make a real effort to always have a free hand somewhere near to a sill ,though i doubt i could grab onto it with any great force if push came to shove . i have SPIKES fitted to my ladder legs and bike inner tube rubber wrapped around the tops to avoid slip

a ladder slip course would be a great idea- where a large safety net lay below and your ladder was jerked out by the course leader and you practiced falling /landing .

It is not gonna matter if you ball up, summersault, or land on your feet if you got uncapped rebar near your ladder. Unless you can fly, your gonna get shanked. A guy who I worked with when I was with another company, was by himself doing some second story windows in a backyard with nobody around and of course this company did not train anyone any kind of safety at all, it was a high window that his ladder couldn’t reach well and the angle was too steep and he fell backwards and thankfully only broke his ankle.

He told me he just layed there with the wind knocked outta him. Couldn’t call out, his phone broke, and nobody was around.

I fell off my little giant twice a few years ago once outside in soft dirt (super wet) one leg sunk while I was up on the ladder and I tried to hold on to the fake shutter that was made outta foam with stucco coating and it came down with me in my death grip! If there was a sprinkler head under me I would’ve had two poop holes! Fell right on my butt.

The other time I was doing high interiors with polished wood floors and no ladder grip pads. Yeah. I rode it down, but the 1400.00 bill for the scratched floor went to the company I worked for.

What I am saying is, it don’t matter if you are on a step ladder…or a 30 footer you can loose your life no matter how far you fall.