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Parapet Ladder


mthomas1
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I've been meaning to post about some of the access techniques I've worked up for flat roofs, and finally remembered to take some pictures this morning:

1) Often, I have to go up to the roof from a balcony, and often the ladder is steeper than it ought to be because of the limited depth of the balcony. In that case whenever possible I tie off the two sides of the balcony, it only takes a minute and eliminates the possibility of the ladder sliding sideways (especially if it's a slick metal cap) and greatly reduces the possibility of the ladder going over backwards.

2) Here in Chicago it's not unusual to reach the top of the ladder only to discover that there is a substantial drop down to the roof on the other side - three to four feet is common, and sometimes it's five or six. If it more than three 3 feet or so getting down off the ladder to the roof is bad enough, but getting up again can be a really terrifying experience, especially in the rain.

In order to deal with parapets like this I cut down an old ladder to four rungs and installed a set of adjustable feet at the bottom, these provide about an extra foot of height when they are fully extended. I use this parapet ladder with a pair of stabilizers that slip into the interior of the top two rungs, this way the ladder is held off the surface of the parapet wall and you can get a full foot on the top rung.

3) On flat roofs the parapet ladder comes in handy for other things as well, in the third picture you can see how the adjustable legs are both extended for additional height and also extended to different lengths to compensate for the slope of the roof.

In combination with the orange step through ladder extensions seen in the picture going up and over the parapet piece of cake, and every point you have a firm grasp of a support, and as you are stepping through the ladder instead of around it the operation of crossing the top of the wall is much less hazardous (and much more comfortable).

The parapet ladder is a bit awkward to carry, but I've worked out a pretty good technique for getting it up the main ladder, over the top of the wall, and then back down again.

And once I had started doing it this way I would never consider going back to attempting to step around an unsecured ladder and/or pull myself back up over a tall parapet wall and onto the ladder ... especially under wet and/or windy conditions!

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tn_2009529154019_ladder-1.jpg

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tn_2009529154120_ladder-2.jpg

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tn_2009529154153_ladder-3.jpg

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Nice setup. I carry line as well. Most inspectors I've talked to don't. It seems like a simple and quick way to make things a lot safer.

I like your little jumper ladder.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Michael, Riggers Local 136 wants a slice of each of your jobs..........I'm sending Carmine over to talk........you're going to "talk", right?

We know where you live.........

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Michael, Riggers Local 136 wants a slice of each of your jobs..........I'm sending Carmine over to talk........you're going to "talk", right?

We know where you live.........

That's none of their business. That's carpenter work. Got a scaffold card?

If you secure the jumper, I'd sign the green tag.

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