What is wrong with this picture - safety?


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If he were to drop the tool, since the tool probably doesn't have a GFI, he would most likely get fried especially since he's using an aluminum ladder. The picture looks old, so since GFIs on outlets are relatively new, the outlet probably doesn't have one. Basically, if he drops the tool, he's screwed.
besides whats stated above the following things are not safe

-the arms of the ladder arent locked
-he doesnt have 3 point contact with the ladder
-not wearing a hard hat
-no spotter with a hard hat
-the bar tender doest have a hard hat on.
-looks like the power chord is going into the water.

:) L



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The power cord isn't going through the water... but... one thing that I think people over estimate is water...

A little water is not gonna hurt ya... as much water as in the picture might...

Also, keep in mind that water is a very poor conductor of electricity... it is when you add a substance that ionizes in water that is conducts electricity.... if that happened to be a swimming pool... the water would conduct electricty very well because of the chlorine in it.

I am not saying working in water is safe, but some there are the rare times when you have no choice... but even if that was the case.... certain other precautions should have been taken...


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what you said, ricc0luuke is true, but you never find pure H2O, unless you are working in a lab. regular tap water has other substances in it, though not nearly as much as a pool, but because you never know what it will do you should not rely on the fact that H2O itself conducts poorly. a better option than saying you have no choice and taking the risk would be to put a safety chain on the tool so that if it falls it does not come in contact with the water.


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rapscaLLion said:
is it just me or is the guy on the ladder barefoot?

Yep! and he is wet up to his mid chest form getting into the pool and positioning the ladder. But come on - he does have safety glasses on!

It looks to me like this is a hotel swimming pool with a pool side bar - the ones that you swim over to. As such, there would be a lot of solutes to conduct the electricity and lets not forget that the power drill itself could fail and deliver a shock to the operator. This shock will then travel down his body and then into the ladder via the path of least resistance, which may well be his chest/abdomen where his wet shirt touches the ladder. From there it is straight down the ladder and into the pool.

The major problem with electrocution is the internal 'burning' that occurs as the electricity enters then exits the body. Given that it is likely to pass through his chest it spells bad news. Also, whilst it may not kill him outright, should he fall from the ladder he could hit his head on the bar or drown in the pool.

Now everyone has given good answers on this but I wonder what do you think a safe alternative might be, given that draining the pool may not be an option?


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The picture looks old, so since GFIs on outlets are relatively new, the outlet probably doesn't have one.

GFIs have been around for over 20 years, so he's probably safe on that count. As far as no hard hat, etc. if you're self employed and self insured, you can pretty much do whatever you want.


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AHAHAHAHA Sorry, when I saw that picture it made me laugh cause it looks like one of those like the first half of a before and after picture and then next would just be white with lighting bolts everywhere. I agree with everyone though that basically hes screwed if he drops his tool. And also that either way, I think he had a very bad idea putting a metal ladder in water using it barefoot when anything electric in the water could then get him. Glad no one like that is at my school.



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I can just see it now...

"Ladies and Gentlemen... the winner for the 2005 - 2006 Darwin Awards is..."

<insert picture here>



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Nuja said:
You know, he could always opt for a fiberglass ladder with rubber feet; presumably that'd help just a bit.

This is a good point and one that I hoped would be raised. Whilst I still would not opt for using a fiberglass or wooden ladder in a swimming pool, it does raise the issue of material of choice in selecting a ladder on which to do electrical work.

Here (in Australia) service workers are not allowed to use aluminium ladders if working on electrical jobs.
I don't think anyone mentioned this but it looks like he's barefoot!!


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Here's an idea, build scaffolding from one side of the pool to the other, it can't be that far across. Plus, it'd be a hell of a lot safer if you closed the pool for the time it takes to do that project.


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I think there are several other options for this chap to reduce his nomination for the Darwin awards. Most of which have been discussed here.

Whilst this is a rather out there example of stupidity, I have seen people place aluminium ladders in puddles of water and think nothing about the risk.

In the right conditions, the average person can absorb a 240V AC shock and live to tell the tale. Many, do so without any ill effects. In China (and I am sure it happens in other countries) the practice of "twitching" occurs. This is where power tools with no plug (just the bare wires) are connected to live power supplies. The term twitching comes from the "twitch" that the shock provides on each twist of the wire. Also note that bamboo scafold is also common place here as well!

The more moisture that is involved, the lower the skins resistance. The lower the resistance, the more damage will be done.

Thus - an aluminium ladder + bare feet + wet clothes + big swimming pool = VERY BAD NEWS (for anyone not in the funeral business).

The reason that I placed this picture here was two fold:

1) I wanted to do something that was a little less technical and more "common sense" based

2) Show that some jobs do involve risks - and it is up to us to minimise those risks in any way, shape or form.

Please keep the comments coming as there is no "real" correct answer - well maybe "call in someone else to do the job" would be considered most appropriate.

I was actually waiting for the following response to be posted:

Evil Mayhem :twisted: said:
Aluminium Ladder: $150.00

Power drill: $99.95

Safety glasses (nice touch): $12.55

Hauling your wet, shoeless butt up that ladder with the drill: $65.00 per hour

Deep frying your arse when you drop your power drill into the swimming pool and having the pool boy pull your crispy remains out with a leaf scoop: priceless

For safety you can't go past common sense. For everything else there is toasty card!


I think basically the main problem with this picture is that the guy has obviously neglected to mix himself a drink and taking it up the ladder with him.... if your gonna live life dangerously you may as well do it in style.

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