It Will Only Take A Second - 11/15/2010

Safety E-QuickTips
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees
start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.
It Will Only Take a Second
I was out working on my lawn one day when I heard a loud crashing sound coming
from my neighbors' back yard. As I turned toward the sound I saw the body of a
man falling off the roof followed by a thud. I wasn't able to see who had fallen
because of the fence that separates our yards, but I knew two things. 1 - My
neighbor was at least in his late sixties. 2 -The man had to have landed on a
concrete patio.
When I made it to the other side of the fence, to my relief, it was not my
neighbor who had fallen and the man was alive. He was wrapped up in a ladder with
a gash over his eye that was swelling shut by the second and it was clear he had
some broken bones.
I didn't find out exactly how the accident happened until about 6 weeks later when I
was outside working and the gentleman involved in the accident stopped by the
He explained to me that he had been helping my neighbor clean the leaves out of his
gutters. To do the job he was using two ladders:the first provided access up to the
lower roof about 8 feet from the ground; the second ladder provided access to the
upper roof from the lower one. I should probably point out that this was a 5X12
sloped roof.
Once he was on the lower roof he tried to position the second ladder on the shingles
so it would not slide. He was having difficulty and considered getting something to
prevent the ladder from sliding. Yet when he put his weight on the ladder he noticed
that it stayed in place. He thought to himself, "It will only take a second."
Well, you already know the rest of the story. He was a few steps up the ladder and
then he was falling to the patio. But he was right, it only took a second.
So, when you're planning to shortcut safety because it will only take a second,
remember that accidents only take a second to happen.
By the way, now my neighbor hires a professional to clean out his gutters.
Thanks for reading and please - Be Safe This Week!
Contact Information
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
Receive Safety E-Quick Tips First Thing Monday Morning 4:30 EST
Quick Links...
Checkout Our Safety Programs
Federal/State Labor Law Posters
OSHA 300 Log Excel Format