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Old 02-06-2021, 05:46 PM   #101
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What almost got me was working off to the side and having the ladder tip. And I hit my head on a door frame once and thought I was OK but as soon as I woke up the next morning I was dizzy. I was OK when I got out of bed but it scared me into buying a bump cap. I recently used the insert for a face shield and now I want to buy a hard hat.

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Old 02-07-2021, 01:27 PM   #102
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I was OK when I got out of bed but it scared me into buying a bump cap. I recently used the insert for a face shield and now I want to buy a hard hat.
Last time I worked in the crawl space, I said I wasn't going to do anything significant under there without a bump cap.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:10 PM   #103
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My wheelchair bound friend (motorcycle accident) hates any ladders over 2 steps. He says there are plenty of people in rehab from 6 ft. ladder accidents. I can see that. People think that since it isn't an extension ladder, it can't be that bad, right? Then they go ahead and step on those top steps you are not supposed to use, fall, and get severely injured.

I stopped talking to him about ladders because I felt guilty using them, and it is an understandable hot button of his.
Uncle on one side of the family broke both ankles...uncle on other side of the family broke both wrists...both from falls off ladders less than 10'.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:22 PM   #104
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Uncle on one side of the family broke both ankles...uncle on other side of the family broke both wrists...both from falls off ladders less than 10'.

In 2005 while I was building my garage. I leaned my ladder against a wall and was maybe only 6 feet up when the ladder slid down the wall taking me with it straight to the concrete floor. Fractured my Kneecap. Didn't feel good.
I still however use ladders and up on the roof of my house to clean the chimney.
Use the ladder hooks over the ridge. Very secure
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:36 PM   #105
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In 2005 while I was building my garage. I leaned my ladder against a wall and was maybe only 6 feet up when the ladder slid down the wall taking me with it straight to the concrete floor. Fractured my Kneecap. Didn't feel good.
Habitat for Humanity won't allow you to prop any A-frame ladder against a wall for this exact accident scenario. You have to extend it to the A shape. If it is uneven, dig a hole under the high side legs.
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Old 02-07-2021, 03:02 PM   #106
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Habitat for Humanity won't allow you to prop any A-frame ladder against a wall for this exact accident scenario. You have to extend it to the A shape. If it is uneven, dig a hole under the high side legs.

Yeah I was dumb. It was late Nov in NH and the concrete even had a little dusty snow on it. I was only 46 at the time and I think it would hurt even more now at 61.
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:48 PM   #107
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My Uncle around age 85 was on a step ladder inside a bedroom replacing a lightbulb, and the ladder tipped over...
He cracked some bones, and learned a valuable lesson.

He had me replace 2 LED light bulbs a couple of weeks ago in the kitchen ceiling light.
I'm glad he waited to ask me.
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Old 02-07-2021, 06:54 PM   #108
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I don't even own a ladder any more. And, at age 72, I never use my foldable two step stepstool any more either. Not worth the risk, to me. I haven't fallen at all since I got both my cataracts and knee fixed, but I used to fall a lot and would rather not do that any more.

Most of my light bulbs are either in ceiling fan kits or in lamps, and I can change them out while standing with both heels flat on the floor. Not so for the light fixtures in the kitchen, laundry room, and second bathroom, but I plan to put lamps in those rooms instead of getting up on ladders, once those lightbulbs burn out.
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Old 02-07-2021, 08:34 PM   #109
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Last fall I painted the trim on our first floor screened in porch. Problem is the porch is over the walk-out basement. I was standing at a height of about 13 feet using my 28 foot, 250 pound rated, extension ladder (I weigh about 180 pounds). I spent several hours over a few days doing this and I was out of my comfort zone. I was a few days shy of 60 and I kept thinking to myself that I might not make it to 60 if I continue doing this (see pictures).

One evening, about halfway through my trim painting job, DW and I watched an episode of "Dr. G Medical Examiner" and Dr. G. was autopsying a man who was found dead after falling off an extension ladder (Dr. G concluded he had a heart attack and then fell off the ladder). During this episode Dr. G. said that falls from a height of 15 feet or over would usually result in death. But there are exceptions and many serious injuries occur from falls from lower heights. Never again will I work 13 plus feet off the ground on a ladder. I don't think I would go over 8 feet.

Beforehand I did thuroughly study proper/safe ladder use from several sources and even measured the distance out from the side of the porch the ladder feet had to be placed, based on the working height, to give the proper angle, which seemed too steep, compared to the angle I arbitrarily used when working at lower heights in my younger days.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:46 PM   #110
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Last fall I painted the trim on our first floor screened in porch. Problem is the porch is over the walk-out basement. I was standing at a height of about 13 feet using my 28 foot, 250 pound rated, extension ladder (I weigh about 180 pounds). I spent several hours over a few days doing this and I was out of my comfort zone. I was a few days shy of 60 and I kept thinking to myself that I might not make it to 60 if I continue doing this (see pictures).
Just looking at the pictures, I think I would've used a ladder stabilizer at the top of the ladder.

I'm about your age, and I think I have about the same comfort zone for ladder heights.
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Old 02-08-2021, 12:28 AM   #111
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During this episode Dr. G. said that falls from a height of 15 feet or over would usually result in death.
No data to back it up, but I've always heard under 10 feet feet breaks bones, over 10 feet kills.

Personally, I wouldn't want to fall (or jump) more than 4 or 5 feet. I used to jump out of a 8 foot hay loft when I was a teenager, but I'm more brittle and almost twice the weight now. Bigger thud.

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I did thoroughly study proper/safe ladder use from several sources and even measured the distance out from the side of the porch the ladder feet had to be placed, based on the working height, to give the proper angle, which seemed too steep, compared to the angle I arbitrarily used when working at lower heights in my younger days.
Most new ladders have angle diagrams on the side to help ensure the proper angle. One simple check is to put the tips of your shoes against the bottom of the ladder, and reach straight out to a rung. You should be able to grasp the rung without bending or stretching, and without bending your elbows. It's not exact, but it should get you close.

Just going from your photo, that ladder looks a bit too steep to me. It might just be the camera perspective, but the treads don't look parallel to the ground. It just "looks" steep to me, too easy to fall backward or slide sideways.

I spend a lot of time on ladders (I've got 5 or 6 ladders of various sizes), including my 24' fiberglass extension ladder. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had an accident (or close call) that involved a ladder. If you take precautions setting them up, and pay attention they are generally safe. Don't lean out, always stand upright keeping your center of gravity on the ladder. If you can't reach, climb down and move the ladder. Never stand on the top rung, you could lose your balance. If you're climbing up on the roof, make sure the ladder extends a few feet above the roof edge. You should be able to hold the ladder in your hand and step sideways from the roof back to the ladder without leaning.
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Old 02-08-2021, 05:53 AM   #112
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I went through a bad ladder stage a year or so ago. Fell off the top of a 5' step ladder in my garage and landed on my elbow on the concrete floor. Fell from the top of an 8' step ladder putting up a ceiling fan. Landed on my back and whipped my head back against the floor so hard that my glasses flew off about 15'. And I fell off an extension ladder cleaning out the gutters and landed in a bush. That was an easy one.

Since these 3 missteps, I've been on ladders a few times with no problems. Extremely careful.

I went to the dr for 1st medicare wellness check, and the doc said that guys my age stay healthy up to the point that they have an accident or fall that injures them enough to restrict their activity. Then the inactivity leads to serious health issues. I'm going hire for outdoor ladder related tasks from now on.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:10 AM   #113
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I went through a bad ladder stage a year or so ago. Fell off the top of a 5' step ladder in my garage and landed on my elbow on the concrete floor. Fell from the top of an 8' step ladder putting up a ceiling fan.
The actual top of the step ladder?

I'm not singling out you specifically, but what I'm getting from reading some of these posts is that too many people are using ladders incorrectly, or shouldn't be on them in the first place.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:30 AM   #114
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No data to back it up, but I've always heard under 10 feet feet breaks bones, over 10 feet kills.

Personally, I wouldn't want to fall (or jump) more than 4 or 5 feet.
I was shoveling snow the other day and slipped on some ice and took a spill. I was exactly zero feet off the ground and while I came out unscathed, I could see how easily that could break a bone, let alone doing it from any height. We canít stop doing things just because of the risk, but need to take appropriate precautions as we age to minimize accidents. Iím sure broken bones are more likely as we age and less likely to heal as easily as we age. You can bet I brought out plenty of ice melt once I got up.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:41 AM   #115
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I was shoveling snow the other day and slipped on some ice and took a spill. I was exactly zero feet off the ground and while I came out unscathed, I could see how easily that could break a bone
I had a similar experience a few years ago. My wife got stuck in the snow so I decided to walk down the hill (snow shovel in hand) to "rescue" her. One second I was walking, the next I was on my back looking up. It happened so fast I didn't even remember falling. Hurt my wrist quite a bit, but X-ray said no broken bones. Whew. Of course, shortly after my wife came driving by, she had managed to get herself out.

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We canít stop doing things just because of the risk, but need to take appropriate precautions as we age to minimize accidents.
Agreed. I have to get things done, so I try to manage the risks as much as possible. I certainly take a lot fewer risks now than I did when I was younger, and buy proper tools now instead of rigging up something stupid.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:59 AM   #116
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My 2 step stepladder in my house has a handle that I can rest my thighs on for extra stability.
I also have a little 2 step stepladder I used to use to check the fuel tanks in an airplane, but now I use it to cet into the cab of the switch engine. The first step was a killer and it was hard for me to pull myself up. I am 82
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Old 02-08-2021, 10:55 AM   #117
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I'm joining late and only skimmed the 6 pages of posts, so please excuse me if this has been covered........

At 71 years old, I was still maintaining our single story home for all but significant plumbing and electrical work or major repairs such as a new roof. Oh, and we have a lawn service because we're gone a few months a year.

Then I was diagnosed with AFIB and put on an anti-coagulant. With a stern look and much finger wagging, the cardiologist warned me about bruises which can lead to internal bleeding while on this anti-coagulant. Bruises? Like from a minor tumble while doing a project? Or from knocking my head while up in the attic? Or any of the little "oops!" incidents already mentioned in this thread?

Overnight, I needed to find other people to do things I was accustomed and capable of doing myself but which put me in a position of a possible bruise-causing impact. I already had plumbing, electrical and yard work covered. A decorating/painting guy wasn't too hard to find. Farming out maintenance on our camper resulted in high prices for shoddy work (IMO) and I'm still looking around. Finding a good handyman-generalist has been tough.

At 73, it's been an "interesting" two years living with this. Maintaining the house, cars, RV and miscellaneous stuff was like my retirement part time job. We now spend several kilobux a year paying others and, in most cases, aren't as satisfied as when these things were done DIY by yours truly.

It's another one of those reasons why expenses don't necessarily go down as you age.
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:10 AM   #118
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No data to back it up, but I've always heard under 10 feet feet breaks bones, over 10 feet kills.

Personally, I wouldn't want to fall (or jump) more than 4 or 5 feet. I used to jump out of a 8 foot hay loft when I was a teenager, but I'm more brittle and almost twice the weight now. Bigger thud.



Most new ladders have angle diagrams on the side to help ensure the proper angle. One simple check is to put the tips of your shoes against the bottom of the ladder, and reach straight out to a rung. You should be able to grasp the rung without bending or stretching, and without bending your elbows. It's not exact, but it should get you close.

Just going from your photo, that ladder looks a bit too steep to me. It might just be the camera perspective, but the treads don't look parallel to the ground. It just "looks" steep to me, too easy to fall backward or slide sideways.

I spend a lot of time on ladders (I've got 5 or 6 ladders of various sizes), including my 24' fiberglass extension ladder. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never had an accident (or close call) that involved a ladder. If you take precautions setting them up, and pay attention they are generally safe. Don't lean out, always stand upright keeping your center of gravity on the ladder. If you can't reach, climb down and move the ladder. Never stand on the top rung, you could lose your balance. If you're climbing up on the roof, make sure the ladder extends a few feet above the roof edge. You should be able to hold the ladder in your hand and step sideways from the roof back to the ladder without leaning.
I agree with you on the 10 feet!

The angle felt a little steep to me too, but I also did just as you said about testing the ladder angle (these instructions were also on my ladder) and it pretty much matched the ladder feet placement location per the calculated measurement I took. I even put a good quality level on one of the ladder rungs to make sure they were parallel to the ground, which was basically level. I also was careful to keep 3 point contact, not get fatigued, not lean outside of the ladder rails, etc. I also set the ladder feet so the spikes on their ends stuck in the soil.

I did have one lapse of memory, though. I was using a 2 foot paint edge guard to keep paint off the screen while painting the sides of the molding. I would push the guard into the crack between the molding and the screen and the guard would stay wedged and then I would paint the molding side and pull out the guard when done. Well, one time I forgot not to forcefully shove the guard into the molding crevice. When I gave the guard a good push, the ladder slid sideways at the top, opposite the direction of my push. Remember from physics that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction? We'll, I was reminded! As the ladder slid I let go of the guard and quickly and instinctively grabbed the molding I was painting and pulled the ladder back to vertical.
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:15 AM   #119
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As I wrote on another similar thread, and might be good advice for others here, the only DIY things I do nowadays must meet these criteria: No risk of killing or maiming myself, no risk of f*&%ing it up more, and not so time consuming that it takes me away from my recreational pursuits.
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:24 AM   #120
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I fell off a ladder while cleaning the gutters (only about 8 feet) when I was about 60. Actually, the ladder itself broke and down I went, but only onto the lawn. Nothing broken but it really got my attention.

Since then I've only used top quality ladders, but one big result is that when I told DW about it later, she made me promise that I would never get on a ladder again without having a cell phone in my pocket.
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