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Safety message about ladders
Old 05-09-2021, 07:23 PM   #1
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Safety message about ladders

So I went to clean the gutters and nearly got done safely. The last spot wasn't real level, so I didn't go up too high...until there was that last bit I couldn't reach. Took one more step up and came clattering down, falling away from the nice soft yard onto the not so soft brick. Bashed my elbow real hard, been trying to tough it out today, but think I will go in for an X-ray tomorrow.

Scared DW when I came in and was telling her I also hit my head but was fine, then promptly collapsed. At least that time was on carpet. Never lost consciousness and head felt fine almost immediately after. I don't have any other concussion symptoms, but it was scary to just suddenly not be in control.

I've joked for years that the only tool I use is the credit card, I guess it's time to make that true.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:51 PM   #2
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Wow, glad you are ok! Hope elbow is just bruised.

I was on a ladder a couple of days ago outside and also in my attic.

Super careful, have to be.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:55 PM   #3
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I’m thinking of changing my location to “No country (or ladders) for old men.”
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Exchme View Post
So I went to clean the gutters and nearly got done safely. The last spot wasn't real level, so I didn't go up too high...until there was that last bit I couldn't reach. Took one more step up and came clattering down, falling away from the nice soft yard onto the not so soft brick. Bashed my elbow real hard, been trying to tough it out today, but think I will go in for an X-ray tomorrow.

Scared DW when I came in and was telling her I also hit my head but was fine, then promptly collapsed. At least that time was on carpet. Never lost consciousness and head felt fine almost immediately after. I don't have any other concussion symptoms, but it was scary to just suddenly not be in control.

I've joked for years that the only tool I use is the credit card, I guess it's time to make that true.
Oh my! I hope you didn't break your elbow, or your head either for that matter.

Thank you for reminding everyone here that ladders become less safe for many of us as time goes by. Frank and I have both cut back on ladder climbing in the past few years.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:03 PM   #5
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Just yesterday I noticed one of the legs on my Cosco stool was straight instead of angled for stability like the others. Then I decided to follow instructions and tighten the screws (which still wouldn't have fixed the leg which somehow got bent) and one wouldn't tighten. I'm disassembling it and recycling it (the top is plastic and the legs are steel). I'm going shopping for another stool.
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Old 05-09-2021, 09:14 PM   #6
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Some people don't realize how head bumps work. Mike Todd the arm wrestler recently snapped a cable on an arm wrestling training machine and it hit him hard on the head. He laid down on the ground for a few seconds, under his own power, and the YouTube comments were full of people laughing at him for putting on a show. I posted about a personal experience and suggested he take it easy for a little while, but it was drowned out by other commenters, and if YouTube showed dislikes I bet I would have received many. The comment didn't get a single upvote. The next day he posted a video of himself having some kind of episode during arm wrestling. He suddenly stopped and had a troubled look on his face. You hear his wife asking if he's OK. Then the video ended. If he was in a car he could have killed someone.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:22 PM   #7
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A few years ago my MIL had fallen in her home and hit her head. We do not know how hard she hit but after the fire department and ambulance checked her and said everything checked out ok they said call your Dr for further instructions. She called her Dr a little while later and was advised to get to the emergency room right away and jave it checked out. So we rushed her right over. Turns out she had bleeding in her brain and had to have emergency surgery. We found out when you hit your head you can get swelling from bleeding or no signs at all externally. The bleeding was internal and actually pushing on her brain. Had we not followed the Drs advice she probably would not be here today.
Take any head trauma very seriously!
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Old 05-10-2021, 01:50 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reminder to all of us to be careful with ladders and to recognize our limitations as we age.

Hopefully you don’t have any long lasting injury.
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Old 05-10-2021, 02:58 AM   #9
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I hope you are OK, with the main injury being to your dignity.

I spend a lot of time on ladders and have fallen a couple of times - thank goodness, the one time I was really hurt, I was much younger and my bones were still strong. That was caused by husband not properly bracing an extension ladder, so the extension slipped while I was on it. * What kind of ladder was this, and do you have any idea what caused the fall?

Lost your own balance? (e.g. stretched your leg too far off the ladder, etc).

Ladder shifted under you? (e.g. not in stable position, uneven ground, stepladder not open far enough, extension ladder not braced properly)

Again, best wishes for total recovery!

*No, he didn't do it on purpose, but there was a man where I worked who DID make his wife fall while she was on a ladder; she was killed; he went to jail, and there was a big HR thing going on as to whether he should still get his pension).
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:16 AM   #10
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Check for concussion and brain swelling. Fainting right after an incident often associates with brain damage or clotting in the blood vessels.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:32 AM   #11
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Thanks for the reminder. Hope you're ok! We all need to be more careful on ladders. I fell from ladders 3 times last year. Once with an elbow injury like yours - the hurt went away in a few days. I now pay more attention and move slower when I'm on a ladder.

My doctor said that the biggest downfall of healthy seniors is accidents where they get injured and can't stay active because of an accident.
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:31 AM   #12
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I fell from ladders 3 times last year. Once with an elbow injury like yours - the hurt went away in a few days. I now pay more attention and move slower when I'm on a ladder.
Only three times?

I recommend a far safer alternative than "pay more attention" and "move slower."
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:14 AM   #13
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I asked specific questions of the OP, because I object to the notion that at some specific age, people should "stay off ladders" just because.

Ladders, used properly by able persons of any age, are safe.

When accidents occur, there is always something amiss either with the person (actual poor balance due to many factors; poor judgment leading to poor balance, such as reaching out too far to trim a branch; muscle weakness, loss of sensation in the feet, poor eyesight, too tired to be working, etc.) or with the ladder (ladder bent/out of true, not properly braced, uneven ground where no ladder should even be, stepladder sides not completely locked in place, etc.)
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:32 AM   #14
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I've been working my a** off on a remodel, doing all but the drywall. I paid the guy to paint my house exterior, first time I've ever paid anyone to paint. I think watching him paint, using the ladders on the second story, was one of the most joyful experiences I've had in a while! I'll abuse my knees, bang my head in the crawl space, and aggravate my elbows and hands. But no more ladders other than a step. I ALMOST offered the painter my long extension ladder as part payment.

Glad you're OK. Head bangs are not to be ignored; gave myself a concussion in a bike crash that broke my collarbone; they did a scan on my head to be sure. We're getting less inclined to avoid Drs. Wife woke up with a bad cough that she didn't think warranted a visit; I insisted and it was strep throat. 8 days later and antibiotics and she still has an occasional cough. When I was a kid and visited my grandparents they always watched Lawrence Welk; remember well the Geritol commercials whose tag line was "When you've got your health you've got about everything!" Or something like that.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:37 AM   #15
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I hope you are OK, with the main injury being to your dignity.

I spend a lot of time on ladders and have fallen a couple of times - thank goodness, the one time I was really hurt, I was much younger and my bones were still strong. That was caused by husband not properly bracing an extension ladder, so the extension slipped while I was on it. * What kind of ladder was this, and do you have any idea what caused the fall?

Lost your own balance? (e.g. stretched your leg too far off the ladder, etc).

Ladder shifted under you? (e.g. not in stable position, uneven ground, stepladder not open far enough, extension ladder not braced properly)

Again, best wishes for total recovery!

*No, he didn't do it on purpose, but there was a man where I worked who DID make his wife fall while she was on a ladder; she was killed; he went to jail, and there was a big HR thing going on as to whether he should still get his pension).
Ladder was on uneven ground and I knew it when I went up it, even started to tip once before and I readjusted the footing a bit, but there was no way to even it out and the gutter was astonishingly full of crud, so I kept going, apparently thinking I'm a Wallenda tightrope walker.

The head feels OK this morning. Back and neck are sore as would be expected. Elbow actually hurts less but is quite swollen and still hard to move or twist the hand, so going to go get an x-ray today to see what's what.

Interesting psychological point that once I started the task, finishing it overrode any sense of caution.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:41 AM   #16
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Looks like some of us don't pay much attention to the Leaf Filters TV commercials.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:44 AM   #17
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About 20 years ago I used my 25 foot step ladder (my teenage son spotted me) to tar a small leak on my roof. After I completed the small job, I looked down and thought to myself "What the f&*% am I doing up here?" To get back down, I had to face the roof, and blindly put me feet on the rung. My son was guiding me, but I was downright terrified. I got down completely unscathed, but vowed I'd never do that again. And I held true to that vow.
I got rid of the ladder a few years ago. Risk-benefit of climbing a tall ladder makes hiring someone else to do it a no-brainer, to me.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:54 AM   #18
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Looks like some of us don't pay much attention to the Leaf Filters TV commercials.
They do seem to saturate the TV coverage! When I re-roofed the house 15 years ago that was a luxury I treated myself to. Have been very pleased with what I got .. I think it was Leaf Guard. Did have one blockage, where a valley deposited a bunch of granules that formed a dam in a long line. Used the pressure washer to blow it out. Otherwise no issues.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:54 AM   #19
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ladder safety begins on the ground. You MUST make sure the ladder feet are firmly on level ground, can't slip and won't sink in with weight on them. You have to use a ladder tall enough for the job at hand (ie, don't use a 8 foot ladder when you need to reach something at 13 feet and are only 5'2"). Don't stand on the top two steps of a A-frame, and don't position an extension ladder too close to the wall (when your feet are at the base of the extension ladder, an arm extended level at shoulder height should just touch fingertips at one of the rungs of the ladder). Don't exert sideways force (heavy drilling, off-center pushing or lifting).

Follow the above and if you are in good health with good balance, ladders can be reasonably safe. Ignore all of the above and you probably also should not do other activities like hiking or boating either.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:54 AM   #20
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Any time we need to use the 25 foot ladder, which is rarer and rarer, DH goes up the ladder and I "spot" him and lean on the bottom to lower the center of gravity and stabilize the ladder. We never use a ladder alone. His dad broke a vertebra falling off a ladder-fortunately no spinal cord issue. An 80 year old friend of ours died years ago, falling off a ladder.
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