We've all had to prop ladders against gutters and eaves, in order to get on the roof. One thing that has always bothered me is the way the ladder seems to shift just as you make the roof/ladder transition.
Here are some pics of my 16' "4 way" ladder in use. Not only do I NOT have to lean it against a gutter, it is extremely stable.
Something to consider.
[This message has been edited by renosteinke (edited 01-01-2007).]
Don, I have seen that "rule," and I have a LOT of problems with it.
It was leaning against such an extension that once caused the base of a ladder to come free on me. I know, the movied always show a nice graceful transition, but this is the moment when the ladder seems most likely to move.
My own preference is for the ladder to project very little above the roof line, and for me to go 'straight over the top,' rather than shift to the side.
This arrangement of the 4-way does project a foot or so above the roof edge. The outstretched "feet" make it VERY secure, with virtually no wobble or shift as you make the transition.
Most important, the ladder is NOT leaning against a flimsy sheet-metal gutter. Besides being flimsy, sheet metal is slick .... which makes it so much easier for the ladder to shift.
Now, IF your ordinary extension ladder is securely tied off at the roof, AND the feet are placed in a manner where they simply cannot move on ANY direction, the "step to the side" can work out quite well.
A final 'detail" to consider is that the "usual" rules are written assuming "usual" ladders. This 4-way ladder is neither fish (extension) nor fowl (step).
#151440 - 01/04/0712:19 AMRe: A ladder to consider
I don't usually have a problem with a ladder slipping when it is up against one of those extruded aluminum gutters. When you are "busting the deuce" like me it makes two deep dents in the edge that hold the ladder steady.
#151441 - 01/04/0703:14 AMRe: A ladder to consider
Regardless of how we feel about a rule if we are working under OSHA that would likely be a violation.
The company I work for would have two issues with that ladder.
1) It's metal, we do not use any conductive ladders. We don't buy them we don't borrow them.
1926.1053(b)(12) Ladders shall have nonconductive siderails if they are used where the employee or the ladder could contact exposed energized electrical equipment, except as provided in 1926.951(c)(1) of this part.
2) The set up, we would have to have the top extend past the roof a greater distance.
1926.1053(b)(1) When portable ladders are used for access to an upper landing surface, the ladder side rails shall extend at least 3 feet (.9 m) above the upper landing surface to which the ladder is used to gain access; or, when such an extension is not possible because of the ladder's length, then the ladder shall be secured at its top to a rigid support that will not deflect, and a grasping device, such as a grabrail, shall be provided to assist employees in mounting and dismounting the ladder. In no case shall the extension be such that ladder deflection under a load would, by itself, cause the ladder to slip off its support.
[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 01-04-2007).]
Bob Badger Construction & Maintenance Electrician Massachusetts
#151442 - 01/04/0712:19 PMRe: A ladder to consider
The non-conductive comment seems particularly appropriate since the ladder in the picture is resting on a raceway. It doesn't take too much imagination to seeing that be damaged while you are blindly jamming that ladder into a secure position from the ground.
#151443 - 01/04/0703:47 PMRe: A ladder to consider
It may not be obvious due to paint, but that IS a fiberglass ladder.
Also, the ladder is not contacting any of the conduit; it passes over it. Good point to consider, though.
As for the "OSHA rule"... one of the very first issues OSHA had to litigate involved this very issue. In the particulars of that case, the OSHA rule said trucks had to have their wheels chocked while in the loading dock. The defendant did not chock the wheels; he had anchors in the pit, and used a come-along to pull the truck tight against the dock. OSHA argued 'a rule is a rule.' The defendant argued that his way was better. The ruling, which was upheld on appeal, requires OSHA to recognise 'other approaches' that are as good, or better, than what the book specifies.
I believe that the 4-way ladder, used as pictured here, meets or exceeds any extension or tie-down requirement that was written with a different type of ladder (extension ladder) in mind.
This is, after all, America. We are NOT mindless serfs to a ruling bureaucracy.
[This message has been edited by renosteinke (edited 01-04-2007).]
#151444 - 01/04/0705:51 PMRe: A ladder to consider