CMU School of Drama

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fall in Love with Ladder Safety!

www.newequipment.com: The American Ladder Institute has declared March as Ladder Safety Month, and businesses such Little Giant Ladder Systems are providing resources to promote the cause.

“It’s better to build a fence at the top of a cliff than to park an ambulance at the bottom,” said Art Wing, chairman and president of Little Giant Ladder Systems. “Better training and innovation in ladder safety will help organizations save time, money, and most importantly, lives. “

12 comments:

Angel Zhou said...

Though it was likely put in the article to be comedic, the first ladder accident video was hard to watch all the way through. The baby and kitten falls, though covered very briefly, were probably the scariest ones. The woman falling off the ladder and into a table was also very unsettling. I hope everyone in the video ended up okay. The last little bit also didn’t quite make sense to me – was it a live commercial about safe ladders that one of the actors fell during? Regardless, the fact that at least one person dies every day due to ladder accidents only adds worry to my already overly-fearful self. I’m not sure I’ll be able to trust my parents or friends (or myself, for that matter) on a ladder anytime soon. The ladder video at the end, especially with the little girl’s ending lines, was a nice note to end on, though (as long as you ignore the reiteration of the horrifying video footage of people falling).

Mark Ivachtchenko said...

Fortunately, I haven't been in any ladder accident besides maybe pinching myself when it closes because of how many times these rules have been drilled into my head. However, I have seen friends get hurt on ladders and specifically remember one of my head carpenters getting seriously hurt because of overreaching. I am a little more lenient on some of the rules discussed in this video, specifically the overloading error and stepping on the top rung. This is because, in our industry, we're typically not going to be loaded up with a reflective vest, a giant tool belt, a hard hat, and a giant paint bucket but these are definitely hidden factors that can play into a hazardous environment if you forget about it in those types of situations. Also, I believe that stepping on the top rung or straddling the top of the ladder is OK as long as you don't overreach because typically it's bad ladder placement that causes your weight to tip the ladder. Either way, stay safe people and continue using the wonderful thing that is common sense. (PS. please watch the LittleGiant safety video because it's a meme).

Annie Scheuermann said...

My first question is who sees someone unstable on a ladder, and starts filming or taking pictures? I am currently at my parents home, with the slowest internet so streaming a video was not happening, but even the pictures they show, are just a little worrisome. I think ladders are one of the more basic tools used in construction or any kind of hands on work really, so people just become too comfortable with them, which causes the injuries. Most of the time the ones who get hurt with a ladder, are going to be the ones who have used them a million times already, not the first time users, because you stop being careful. I do think it is important to realize the dangers when using a ladder, but I think this push for a ladder safety month is just a bit extreme and honestly, done business executives have better things to be doing with their time? Ladders have stayed the same for a pretty long time, engineering wise, I would be interested to see if some modifications can make it safer to use. Also I really hope all those people were not too hurt.

Kelly Simons said...

March is ladder safety month?? How did I not hear about the most important month of the year until now? Excuse me St. Paddy’s, move over, there is a new more awesome holiday in town. But really, ladder safety is very important, and is most often glossed over, or never even addressed at all. I have seen several of our students not using ladders safely… The statistic pulled from the article: ““The numbers are shocking. Every day 2,000 people are injured while using ladders;100 suffer a long-term or permanent disability and tragically, one person dies—every day” is staggering. With those numbers I’m surprised I have not seen a single ladder accident here at Carnegie Mellon, or ever, actually. I think spreading more awareness about ladder safety and the harm it can cause workers is extremely important. If more people knew about ladder safety I think less accidents would occur.

Julian Goldman said...

Okay, first of all, in terms of the ladder accidents video, was the person at 56 seconds in really so bored that the best thing they could think to do was slide down a ladder in a laundry basket? More seriously, almost all of these accidents seemed to be caused by people either standing on the top step of a ladder or people using an extension ladder that wasn’t actually stable. I’ve never really thought much about what weight ladders are rated for, and it definitely doesn’t surprise me that people don’t account for the weight of what they are bringing on the ladder. In general, when it comes to theatre I think there is a sort of expectation of being comfortable enough with ladders to the point of being casual on them. I see people standing on the top step or top of the ladder all the time, or reaching pretty far on a ladder. I’m not willing to do that, but I often feel self conscious about the fact that I’m less willing to take risks when it comes to ladders, and I worry that being cautious about ladders makes me not as good at my job or makes people think I don’t care enough. I guess I just wish safety was more of a priority in theatre culture.

Cosette Craig said...

I'm commenting on this article because of the enthusiasm of the title and the legendary quote about parking an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff in the preview on the homepage. The fact that 1 person a day dies on a ladder was initially shocking to me when I first read it but then all the dumb shit I've seen people do on ladders flashed before my eyes like a movie montage. I will say I had no training on ladder safety my first time on 20 foot extension ladders due to a not-so-safety-concious boss I once had and my own naïveté. Thank goodness this obliviousness to the rules led me to be extremely cautious. My nervousness made me an inefficient worker but at least it lessened my risk of injury. With proper training I can now work comfortably and safely on a ladder so I am both getting the job done and protecting myself from a tumble.

Emily Lawrence said...

I have always been afraid of heights, so I am very cautious when it comes to climbing on them. I do think it is important that people recognize that a fall can cause very harmful effects, even if just from a step stool. I did not realize that the injuries per day number was so high and I was shocked when I read those numbers. I also did not realize that it was the incident that causes the most problems for companies, but it does make sense. They are an easy to use tool, and when not thinking about the dangers involved, that can lead to major damage. I do think it is a bit much though to dedicate a whole month as a ladder awareness month. It is an issue, but I think there should be other measures taken to ensure the safety of the users. If I had not read this article, I would not have known what this month meant for ladder safety. While I do think ladder safety is very important, I think there should be other measures taken to lower the numbers that were presented in the article.

Lauren Miller said...

I had no idea that there was a whole ladder safety month! This is so exciting. I cannot wait to be told to use a ladder incorrectly or see another student use a ladder incorrectly at my next crew call. What a way to celebrate ladder safety. Do you all realize how bad we are at CMU now? We are horrible. Since the start of March I have seen multiple people stand on the top of ladders, straddle the top (causes imbalance), break the three-point contact rule, and set up a ladder on uneven surface or even a moving surface. To top it all off, I have also seen someone put a ladder in the scissor-lift and climb it while at height. And it doesn’t really matter what you say to people because they will just keep doing what they’re doing and ignore safety because nothing bad has ever happened and never will. You typically don’t follow ladder safety until you have a bad enough accident that it becomes important to you. And it sucks, but CMU has a very long way to come with this.

Chris Calder said...

Not only have I fallen off a ladder myself but I also know many people that have injured their self for miss using. If I am being honest you would think you would learn your lesson after the first time you fall but It not true. I have seen so many people skip the 30-second adjustment for "just an easy task". Either the screw or the hook was so close that you just had to take the risk, and suddenly it is the rest of the night in the ER (as a best case). I wish I could say that the training might help but the fact is that people as human beings don’t mind take a risk when on a ladder even though 9 times out of 10 it leads to a serious injury. So if there is a take away from this article it is to just reiterate the obvious with the hope that one day it will sink in. But until then we will see people get hurt for doing the simple task of climbing up and down a ladder.

John Yoerger said...

What an important article! I say this because I've seen some stupid, stupid, stupid (did I say stupid) people at this school stand with 1 foot on the top rung of a later with the rest of their body off adjusting a light or using a staple gun above their heads. It's just like when I've watched a senior Technical Director change the blade in a sawzall while it was plugged in. I would say stupid again, but really at this point I just consider it natural selection. It isn't hard to be safe on a ladder and the statistics speak for themselves. Don't take shortcuts and don't just try to get that one last staple in while you reach far away from the ladder and break 3 points of contact. Walk yourself down that ladder and just move it over. In the end, you'll be much more grateful considering the alternative could be death--what do you want to become? Just another statistic about an idiot who is trained and just disregards safety?

Galen shila said...

Maybe im just picky but i would be more captivated by the video if it was less of an add and went more into specifics about (why) certain things are unsafe. Other than that small issue i think presenting the video in a comedic way really kept me interested and engaged throughout the whole thing. I think its very important to keep reminding people of ladder safety and keeping that in the forefront of peoples minds as they work. It really is a matter of saving lives. The numbers of people who get injured on ladders per day are really quite shocking. despite the lack of detailed information given by this video it inspired me to do some more research on my own. That isn't going to work for everyone but still i think this is a fantastic way to get people more informed about ladder safety. Hopefully it will help those who dont practice ladder safety and keep safety in the forefront of everyone mind.

Ali Whyte said...

I absolutely loved the video in this article. I think it was funny and interesting but also very informative and gave a lot of important information. I cannot count the umber of times I have seen someone use a ladder incorrectly, and really would like that number to go down. I did not even think about how much tools and equipment could affect which ladders should be used based on their rating, and also the force of a step downwards, which adds more lbs of force than the person simply standing. I do like how they point out the safety features of their ladders (even though it's clearly an advertisement) because it shows that there is a safe alternative and that "Well, there's just no other way to do it" is incorrect and a dangerous mentality to have. I think the title and first few lines of this article are also awesome, one because they are funny, and two they were definitely an efficient way to pique my interest and I'm sure others' as well.