I went shopping for a ladder. I mistakenly began to read the attached warning labels.In no time at all, I was puzzled. So many labels attached — mostly stating the obvious like, “don’t fall off” “falling can lead to injury”. There are hundreds of labels (not all on the same ladder). With my intellectual curiosity aroused, I quickly jumped on the google machine to dig into the ladder label industry.
In 2019, ladder usage violations ranked 6thon OSHA’s list of the top 10 citation categories with 2345. Presumably, the 2345 was for all of the U.S. It didn’t say if this included Puerto Rico or Washington D.C.(joke). The only reason I included any statistics at all is to assure you that I actually did some research on this. The number of violations, however, pales in comparison to the 165,000-actual ladder-related injuries reported annually by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The conventional wisdom, which is usually not wise at all, blames OSHA (the deep state, evil “Gummint” (See gummintdefinition below) bureaucrats whose job it is to complicate our lives. In fact, my research revealed this:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ladder standards do not require manufacturers to label ladders with instructions and warnings. Manufacturers of ladders attach the labels to provide information for safe use, and to protect themselves in liability action from any misuse of the ladder.
The first supplier of ladder signs I randomly selected offers 6 variations of “Not a Ladder”. Many, many things are not a ladder, right? All 6 versions of this sign make this very clear. This is why we need more lawyers — to help us identify what a ladder is not.
“Thinking about ladder-related injuries must start with the obvious: ladders are specifically made to put people high above the ground.”
That’s true, but let’s back up here. The real problem with falling hazards is gravity!!! Where are the warning signs for that? If I ask Amazon’s know-it-all, Siri, “Who invented gravity?”, she replies. “Isaac Newton!” (footnote ##) That’s the guy we really need to go after.
I’ve decided not to buy a ladder, EVER!
# “Gum-mint” is a colloquial contraction of the word Government. It is commonly preceded by another colloquial contraction “Goddamn”.
## I just reaffirmed this on my Amazon Fire.
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