Being afraid to walk under ladders is a superstition that I would bet very few builders have.
They walk under ladders all the time.
In fact, most builders think ladders are recreational equipment—-at least we did in the early days of my building career—-prior to when I had employees—-prior to the watchful eyes of OSHA.
Since we were already climbing all over houses anyway, it was only natural that the apparatus that enabled us to climb all over houses would themselves become a means of amusement and entertainment as comfort levels with their use increased.
Not only did we walk under ladders, we would climb up the ladders on the underside of the rungs as well as slide down the ladders without the rungs. We would increase the extension of the ladders while we were still on them and think nothing of standing on the top of a step ladder—-you know the place where it says “DO NOT STAND” in big red letters—-we would do these things AS IF IT WERE NORMAL.
These methods of ladder use were never shown on the ladder safety instructions and of course today these practices would likely get a person fired. But this would have been in the good old days of building—-and one of the fringes of being self employed—-back when building houses was dangerous and sex was safe—-now it is the other way around.
This little conversation and reminiscing is all about getting us to the point of the post’s title. But the question has a caveat.
Would you rather walk under a ladder or use this front entryway every day?
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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