Bill ShankBill Shank

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Look closely at this picture and count how many things are wrong. I’ll wait.

How many issues did you count? I counted 6.

  1. Pole lights are not designed to have ladders lean against them. They are only designed to hold the weight of the light fixture and to withstand expected wind loads. Archimedes once said Give me a big enough lever and a place to put the fulcrum, and I will move the world.” This guy has turned his ladder into a lever. Note how the pole is tilting. If the anchor bolts snap, the man, the pole, and the ladder will come crashing down. If he’s lucky he’ll be severely injured. If not, he’ll be dead.
  2. Ladders are not designed to be leaned against a rung. They are to be leaned against both rails with at least 3 feet of the rail extending above the contact point. If the rung gives, this guy is going to take a tumble.
  3. He is counting on a strap to keep the bottom of the ladder from kicking out. I know of no such strap that is certified for this use.
  4. He has not coned off his work area to keep vehicles from running into his ladder and pedestrians from entering the work area.
  5. He does not have a second man to keep vehicles from running into his ladder and pedestrians from entering the work area.
  6. He is not wearing a hard hat to prevent injury if anything falls out of the overhead box he’s working in.

We can surmise from this picture that either this man has not been trained to perform his job safely or he thinks he is immortal. You might think that these are his problems, not yours. If you are the owner of the property he is working on, you would be wrong. OSHA has been known to levy violations against the both the business that made the safety infraction and the property owner who hired that business. Both have a duty to insure that work is performed safely. I think we both can imagine who the personal injury lawyers are going to go after.

This man’s employer has not seen fit to invest in the proper equipment to do this job safely. Such equipment would be a bucket truck or man-lift, safety harness and lanyard, hard hat, and safety cones. Considering this, his employer probably hasn’t invested in safety training either. By cutting corners on safety, this company may be offering cut rate pricing. Do you think this is really a bargain? Do you want to hire a company that puts their employees lives at risk for a few bucks? If you do, please don’t call us.

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