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Getting from the top of the ladder to the roof or an upper landing surface isn’t always the most graceful operation, especially if the ladder is a bit short so that it doesn’t extend three feet above the surface, like OSHA requires. Attach the Safe-T Ladder over the top of your ladder, and you’ll have some nice solid offset hand holds to help you step up.

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Attaching the aluminum Safe-T Ladder doesn’t require any tools or modification of the ladder to install it. It slips over the top of an extension ladder and is held in place by two knobs you can screw down. There’s also a spring-loaded mechanism that locks around the top rung to prevent the rails from sliding off the top of the ladder.

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The Safe-T Ladder will run you about $150.

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Safe-T Ladder [Guardian Fall Protection]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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22 Responses to Safe-T Ladder Extension Rails

  1. Matt says:

    At that price, it seems like it might be worth it to just buy a longer ladder…

  2. Gough says:

    While it does seem a little spendy, it can easily be moved from one ladder to the other. The main thing that I like about this is that it allows the used to step straight onto the roof, rather than off to one side.

  3. cheerIO says:

    “At that price, it seems like it might be worth it to just buy a longer ladder…”

    But a longer ladder doesn’t allow you to step through the middle while having a hand-hold to steady yourself. Does seem a bit expensive but I think it’s a really good idea.

  4. IronHerder says:

    I am fairly certain that I have exhausted all the help that I can expect from my guardian angel. A large portion of that help enabled me to survive time spent on ladders, meaning that I may have done about all of the stupid but survivable things possible.

    Based on such intimate knowledge, I shuddered when I saw the picture for this post, because I am certain that someone, probably many someones, will pull on the ladder extensions before they plant their weight on a rung below the contact point at the top of the ladder. If you can’t picture what happens when this is done, you don’t belong on a ladder, period.

    Ladders may be the most dangerous tool in a garage, in part because they don’t have any nasty moving parts that shout for attention and in part because more than any other tool, the user is most often focused on what they’re doing next.

    Be careful, dear readers, so that you’re around to read my future comments, which I promise will be once again in my usual style. That is, having nothing to do with the post that inspired me to write it.

    IronHerder

  5. Niels says:

    It appears that a sideways strain will break the extension loose. Since this is the most common fall action in climbing onto roof I can see why it is not OSHA approved. Spend a few bucks and get a longer legal ladder to do it right.

  6. Ben says:

    it would be really dangerous if the last rung on the ladder was above the contact point, and since you would step over it you might stand on it.

  7. Cameron Watt says:

    I think I’ll vote for Matt. The compensation people out my way want a minimum of one meter of ladder extending above a roof and it works just fine. I don’t see the need for these handles and $150 will buy me more ladder.

    Working at heights isn’t forgiving of mistakes but when you’re up and away from other workers, you’re usually only the victim to your own incompetence. To paraphrase the NRA: Ladders don’t kill people, people kill people.

  8. Brau says:

    $15 buys a hacksaw you can use to cut a few rungs out of the top of your 24 footer. … ;) LOL!

    Seriously though, having dangled perilously from an eaves once, after an extension ladder fell away, I have never used one without securing ropes since. Can’t say whether I like this idea or not. It seems to give the (false) impression one can put their weight on the handles, which could potentially dislodge the feet if your weight is not on the rungs first.

  9. DoItRite says:

    “To paraphrase the NRA: Ladders don’t kill people, people kill people.”

    Well, I’m not sure that this fits. Probably what you wanted to say was “Ladders don’t kill people, people kill themselves”. If that were the case it would be suicide or accident. Suicide is unlikely, so maybe the better phrase would be “Accidents happen”. Precisely why these may be a good investment.

    I’ve used ladders like this quite a bit, although permanently installed as access to mechanical rooms and the like. They completely eliminate that awkward moment trying to slide around the top of the ladder when getting on and off, which is made all the much more dangerous when loaded up with tools, which alters your natural balance.

    If these rails are secure when installed, I would be all for it. Especially when using a ladder for an extended time period, like roofing or new construction. That $150 will seem like chump change compared to the ambulance ride alone.

    My guess is that once you’ve tried these rails, you’ll decide that you like them.

  10. Jerry says:

    If OSHA does not approve this, what’s the point? To have some homeowner with little knowledge put himself in danger? The concept is great but if OSHA won’t approve it, do you want it?
    I was on a site a few years back, OSHA inspector saw me on a ladder that was not secured. I was going up to secure the ladder but he said we couldn’t do that. Long story but mostly he said to tie a rope to top of ladder, throw it over the roof and tie it off on the other side. I explained I didn’t see anything to tie it off to that way. He suggested a car parked on the other side! What about someone driving off, I asked. He finally left the site and we reported him to OSHA but never heard anything about what happened.

  11. Toolhearty says:

    Jerry Says:
    he said to tie a rope to top of ladder, throw it over the roof and tie it off on the other side. I explained I didn’t see anything to tie it off to that way. He suggested a car parked on the other side!

    That’s insane.

    Thanks to those that pointed out the potential problems. At first I thought these might be handy, but then…

    Another potential problem: The added weight on the end of a long lever while you’re trying to get the ladder up or maneuver it into position. I frequently use a ladder stabilizer around the house that weighs next to nothing, but when it’s waaay up there it makes a difference (think back strain).

  12. @Jerry, Niels:

    Where exactly are you getting your information that this isn’t OSHA approved? I don’t say anything about the products OSHA’s status in the post (I do say that it’s an OSHA requirement for a ladder to extend 3 feet above the surface) and it says right on the website:

    Meets OSHA standard 1926.502(b)(3) and OSHA standard 1926.1053(b)(1) as well as ANSI standard 14.2 section 8.3.3.

  13. IronHerder says:

    These ladder extensions may be OSHA compliant when used with a secured ladder, but I don’t know of any ordinary joe home owners who secure their ladders. It is for these weekend warrior that I worry. Professionals, OSHA compliant or not, know how to be safe, at least if they survive their first year. As my father-in-law said, “There are bold pilots and old pilots, but no old and bold pilots.”

    IronHerder

  14. zoomzoomjeff says:

    OSHA approved or not, (although I agree with Ben that it is), this is a great device because it encourages you to step directly onto the roof through the ladder rails, as pictured.

    On traditional ladders you have 2 options:

    1) have the top of the ladder just contact the roof edge, which is marginal for stepping onto the roof. Coming back down is another story as there is nothing to hold onto.

    2) Follow the apparent OSHA guidelines by having your ladder extend above the roofline a few feet. This gives you something to grab when you step onto the roof and when you come back down. HOWEVER, you are always stepping off to one side or the other, which also makes this dangerous.

    This product seeks to eliminate the problems with both scenarios—you always have something to grab onto, and you never have to step off to one side.

    As for the security of the product, look at the website and you can see how it attaches to the ladder. It’s not going to accidentally come off while in use. I don’t quite understand why this is getting attacked as unsafe.

  15. IronHerder says:

    @zoomzoomjeff is exactly correct in the context of a secured ladder. These extensions on a secured ladder are safer than a bare secured ladder that only just reaches the roof and are safer than a secured ladder whose rungs force one to the side. Fine. But they are a significant danger when used on unsecured ladders.

    IronHerder

  16. Toolhearty says:

    zoomzoomjeff Says:
    …I don’t quite understand why this is getting attacked as unsafe.

    As IronHerder has pointed out, this extension is only safe if the ladder is secured at the top. Otherwise, one might inadvertantly push, pull or put weight on the extension while trying to get down with the ladder either sliding off to one side or going over backwards.

    At work, we’re required to have the OSHA recommended 3-foot above the surface. At home, I’m the weekend warrior that IronHerder worries about as I’ve never secured a ladder.

  17. Toolhearty says:

    Well, that’ll teach me for not reloading before posting.

  18. zoomzoomjeff says:

    IronHerder, Toolhearty—Okay. I’ve stared at the picture, read your posts, back to the picture, back to your posts, looked at the picture again….and I guess I see where you’re coming from now. A little. :)

    I guess I don’t go on ladders much because I HATE using them. Scared of heights unless I’m strapped to something. And when I do use ladders, I am so scared that I make absolutely certain that the ladder is stable when I step off and onto a ladder. So that’s why I was having such a hard time understanding why in the world this would ever happen to a person. I’m so paranoid about the ladder sliding or me falling backwards that I take things really slowly and make sure the weight is distributed evenly and everything’s lined up square. THEN, I climb the hell down!

  19. Dhorvath says:

    I look at this photo and like the idea. Having personally fallen off a ladder and broking an arm, toes, and damaging two knees, This looks like a far safer way to go. The price does seem high. I’m thinking two 6′ sections of pipe secured with threaded rod/nuts running through the pipes and all the way through the center tubing of the rungs to the other side would do the job nicely and more securely for a lot less than $150 I’m headed off to the home center now.

  20. james brauer says:

    Shouldn’t his safety harness be attached to something?

  21. Steveo says:

    We have a fixed steel ladder going to a roof access and OSHA wants “handles” above the ladder. Since the roof access door comes down over the outside of the frame, we can’t weld a handle up there. Someone told me there are telescoping extensions that are spring loaded and will extend up through roof access and give you something to hold onto to get onto the roof. Anybody seen these or know where to get them?

  22. Bob says:

    Last week putting up Christmas lights I started getting tired and eventually feared that my balance was no longer good enough to “go around” the ladder that extended 3feet above the gutter even with my wife holding the ladder so it wouldn’t slip outward. I am 63. Later I told her I should attach handles to step forward onto the roof. My drawing was almost exactly like this. I wish these people could make it cheaper for occasional users like me. Secondly it seems like the handles would feel safer if they were verticle so weight would be less likely to u seat the bottom of the ladder. Was that tested in the R&D?

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