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Re: [TowerTalk] Breaking all the tower climbing rules at an

To: <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Breaking all the tower climbing rules at an
From: "Larry Banks" <>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 10:13:29 -0500
List-post: <">>
I am involved in Corporate Training at both Hewlett-Packard, it's offshoot 
Agilent Technologies, and now it's offshoot Avago Technologies.  Anyone who 
has a job that requires ladder usage takes mandatory ladder training.  I 
took it just because I was curious.  It was  (and remains) one of the most 
useful courses I ever took.

On the other hand, I worked my way through college as a maintenance 
electrician in a steel mill and spent a lot of time on ladders.  No training 
was given -- although this was the late '60s.

ANYONE who uses a ladder should Google "Ladder Safety Videos" and view some. 
One I just reviewed that is reasonable:

73 -- Larry -- W1DYJ

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "jimlux" <>
To: <>
Cc: "Jim Thomson" <>; <>
Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Breaking all the tower climbing rules at an

> Rick Karlquist wrote:
>> Question for you experts:  if it is forbidden to free climb
>> a tower, why is it OK to free climb a ladder?  Not trying
>> to argue, just curious.  I never climb towers, but often
>> climb ladders.  I keep asking myself why I should feel
>> so safe on a ladder.  (It is somewhat easier to fall
>> off a tower, admittedly).
> Tradition often has a lot to do with rulemaking. As does the number of
> people doing the activity.  Lots of ladders, few towers.
>  Think of this.. if you were to propose a new kind of power source for
> motor vehicles, and you said you were going to have thousands of
> essentially unattended power transfer stations where millions of
> essentially untrained people (some impaired by
> drugs/alcohol/tiredness/plain old idiocy) would pump 15 gallons of an
> extremely flammable fuel containing several potent toxins and
> carcinogens. And the transfer mechanism is little different than a
> garden hose with a hand nozzle.  And you'd be able to pump that stuff
> into a plastic bucket, if you liked.
> Yeah, sure, you'd be laughed out of whatever venue you're proposing it in.
> Last year, at work, there was a big ladder safety training initiative.
> (this is characteristically NASA.. turns out that ladder related
> accidents are pretty high up on the list of causes, as in #1, I think.
> So, we have procedures, training, haven't had ladder certification
> requirements yet, but I'm sure it's coming.
> here's the ladder procedural requirement from Ames Research Center
> It varies among centers somewhat.. Ames says don't use the top 3 steps,
> KSC says just the top 2 are verboten.  Maybe Floridians, being used to
> hurricanes and danger in general are more risk tolerant?   Maybe Ames is
> covering their bets on a seismic event during ladder use?  I guarantee
> that many work-hours have been expended on generating and promulgating
> these procedures.
> And, lest someone gripe about the procedure-happiness of NASA, it's a
> common feature of large organizations:
> 1) something goes wrong while doing an activity
> 2) someone important says "something must be done" (Congress does this a
> lot)
> 3) A rational examination says that "not doing the activity" isn't
> feasible, so it becomes, "what can we do that will make it safer OR at
> the very least, address item #2"
> 4) Further examination shows that event #1 was just bad luck, and
> there's no reasonable modification of procedures that would change things
> 5) So, the decision is made to just "document what we do, and, if
> possible find someone else's recommendations to add"
> 6) some poor schlub gets the job of writing it up.
> #6, unfortunately, is sometimes a mechanism for giving someone a job who
> would be dangerous performing the activity being proceduralized. Maybe
> they're the person who actually was responsible for #1.
> 3)
> But, realistically, there are stacks of OSHA rules about ladder usage too.
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