Ladders are ubiquitous. Every hardware store sells them. Everyone has a couple. They’re so common that you never give a second thought on how f-ing dangerous they are.
I have reached the point where I think they’re horribly dangerous tools. I fell off one a couple decades ago, but was very lucky in that I only bruised my tailbone. Last winter I spent many weekends wiring my barn while perched atop a 10 foot ladder. A couple times I almost lost my balance. A couple times I almost lost my footing. Had I done so, I would have landed on hard concrete.
A coworker was working on the outside of his house a couple weeks ago. Fell off the ladder. Concussion, broken bones, internal bleeding. Spent two weeks in the hospital. He’s really messed up; he will never be the same. He says he will never climb up a ladder again.
I now need to install light fixtures in my barn. I was originally going to use my 10 foot ladder. Hell no. I just bought some adjustable, 6 foot scaffolding at Home Depot. It has 12 foot reach. $220. Worth every penny. (And yes, I know you also have to be careful on scaffolding. But it’s not nearly as dangerous as a ladder.)
So here’s my new rule: if you need to elevate yourself, spend the extra dough and use scaffolding. Better yet, hire someone. You should only use a ladder if scaffolding is impossible or very impractical to use.