Guys, We've all seen the pictures of people using ladders in a stupid position, but I would just like to ask you people this: How often are your ladders inspected thoroughly and repaired where this is required?. I was in charge of ladders as a Career Fire-fighter at Timaru Fire Station and our pre-dominantly wooden ladders needed constant attention. We have a problem with rivets breaking on our Aluminium ladders at work, these days and these are normally replaced with stainless rivets. But, this wouldn't be happening unless my Boss was told about the need for Ladder maintenance, some of our pole ladders, didn't even have rubber feet on them!. I spent 3 days repairing ladders at work, I wasn't impressed!. , considering that they were still in use.
Hi Steve!, Yeah, I've only ever used Aluminium ladders and wooden ones, just means that you have to be just that more careful when working around o/head wires. BTW, which type do you guys feel safer on?. Wooden ladders have a lot of flexing in them when they are extended, Fibreglass is my choice, but have you seen the price of the darned things?.
Re: Ladder Safety?#149344 09/21/0303:40 AM09/21/0303:40 AM
Sorry Steve I missed your last question regarding F/Glass ladders. F/glass is good because it does not soak up moisture from the surrounding air. Maintenance wise, I would recommend that you just keep an eye on all the bindings, ropes and the pawls. Having said that, regularly check that there is NO splintering of any of the glass fibres, fibreglass ladders have a habit of snapping all of a sudden, when the strings start to splinter, believe me guys, I've got the ruptured discs in my back to prove this!.
Re: Ladder Safety?#149345 09/28/0301:57 AM09/28/0301:57 AM
Here's a standard Ladder Maintenance Schedule, courtesy of NZ Fire Service.
Every Month- Check all rounds(rungs) for damage and looseness. Check for any splintering in the strings of the Ladder, serious splintering will evict any ladder from use. Check the lines(ropes) that enable the Ladder to be raised, if there is any signs of damage, these shall be replaced. Give Ladder a coat of Linseed Oil.
3 monthly- Check tightness of Toggle Nuts, any Ladder that is out of straight according to the NZFS tolerance, shall be removed from service.(This has to be within a 2mm tolerance) Do all of the checks included in the monthly checks.
Aluminium Ladders- 2-15metres hieght- Make sure that all rivets are in place and hold well and that all rounds are secure.
15m-32m- Make sure that stays are well secured and that there is no free play in joints.
Re: Ladder Safety?#149346 10/03/0303:02 AM10/03/0303:02 AM
Ah Yes, Sparky, The Pawls!. I was always taught, never to reach through an upright ladder, in case the pawls failed while there was someone standing on it. When I was at Fire College (FF 101), a guy lost his lower arm, by doing this. Pretty stupid thing to do really.
Re: Ladder Safety?#149347 11/01/0306:02 AM11/01/0306:02 AM
Just as a small note there Guys, If you are erecting a tall extension ladder, just make sure that the first person that climbs the thing ties it off to something, whatever it is!. This may seem like a given statement, but there was a Fire Brigade in the North Island of NZ that "lost" a 30metre ladder and a FF when he turned the branch of the High Pressure Hose Reel that he was holding to one side and it was a situation of what goes up, must come down. The Hose Reel was running at 3MPa, this would have been a very quick accident.
Re: Ladder Safety?#149348 11/23/0310:33 AM11/23/0310:33 AM
For those outside the FF biz, most American Fire Service (Al) ladders are rated to hold a work load of 600 pounds - the "equivalent" of 2 FF's in full gear. They're heavy, but there's not a lot of flex.
Kinda puts that IAA rating (375 Lbs) to shame, doesn't it?
BTW, I'd forgotten how flimsy most "homeowner" grade ladders really are, until I collapsed one I found left on a site by some painters. Luckily, the builder had been kind enough to install a garage door track for me to grab onto on my way down.