ACCIDENT SCENE PICTURES
I established this web-site because I believe that many others have been hurt by this ladder design. Please understand that I am not an attorney or any legal entity, but a victim. I want the manufacturer to re-evaluate their product design to protect the safety of the consumer. I am a married father with two children. My oldest just turned three. Walking is very painful and the quality of my life has drastically changed. All my recreational hobbies I enjoyed before, I can't do!
On March of 2004 I was repairing the trim on my house when standing on the ladder about 16 feet above the ground when the ladder abruptly dropped down about an inch starting a chain of events leading to my injuries. I see it as cause and effect. In my opinion the cause of the ladder kicking out was directly related to the initial drop at the Shu-Lok base causing the Shu-Lok to become dislodged and unsafely repositioned. The effect was how the ladder unsafely without my control attempted to reposition itself. It is important to consider all factors and not just one by it self to fully understand my concerns that lead to my horrific injuries.
The first would relate to basic physics in regard to equilibrium. Think of it as balancing a pencil on your finger and how weight position is vital. In my case the higher I climbed up the ladder the equilibrium changed and causes more force to be displaced against the structure of my home and pressure is dispersed differently at the Shu-Lok base. I believe the ladders initial drop followed immediately by a unsafe repositioned Shu-base configuration combined with my weight distribution caused enough downwards force resulting in a KICK-OUT motion. This initiated the ladder to slide
away from my house with myself on it. As a result this ladder design can fail causing a person like myself or others to fall and become seriously injured. In my situation it resulted in at least a 16-foot fall upon my concrete driveway, breaking both wrist and shattering my left kneecap into at east five pieces.
On the day of the injury I was using my Werner fiberglass extension ladder utilizing the Shu-Lok ladder feet base pictured at the bottom and on the following page (Accident Scene). In my opinion the ladder malfunctioned. It is also my Opinion the Manufacturer the Werner Ladder Company was informed and aware of potential hazards of the Shu-Lok base foot design and the groves that the bolt could and will catch on. The pictures at the bottom of the page will demonstrate the groves and the catching point that could result in serious injuries or even death to an unsuspecting victim.
The CPSC is aware of this hazard of the Werner/Keller Shu-Lok base and my question remains the same. How many injuries or deaths does it take before reform becomes a reality?
I rejected Werner's offer 3 times for their lack of product safety concerns.
Werner's Senior Counsel David Stankovich on numerous occasions in April, May and June told me he has never herd of
any incidents similar to mine regarding the ladders Shu-Lok system or its bolts catching in the Shu-Lok groves or any injuries
resulting from this design. I was the first! According to e-mails and U.S. government documentation I do believe he was full
of (@X@X@X) with his statement. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports to all manufactures regarding
complaints and injuries. I have documented complaints from the CPSC regarding inquires of the safety and merits of the product
The horrific issue at hand was why Werner's senior Counsel David Stankovich discounted the merits of my
accident even though the CPSC in 2003 reported to Werner regarding a Keller ladder with the Shu-Lok base
foot (For reference Werner owns Keller) a very similar accident as mine with similar problems including the
victims statement and pictures that could present questionable validity of the design in question.
THE TOP THREE QUESTIONS ASKED
1) Is Werner aware of my safety concerns? Yes, Werner is aware of my safety concerns and
could work directly with me to correct the safety issues, but they choose not to talk with me.
2) Are retailers and distributors aware of this problem? Yes, many of them are fully aware
and have even visited this site, but at this time I will not provide contact names on the Internet.
One of my goals is that (CSR) Corporate Social Responsibility with Werner and their distributors
will help regulate themselves.
3) Do I have better documentation of the problem area? Yes, I have more defined pictures and
a video demonstration of the area of concern. The video demonstrates a brand new Werner
fiberglass extension ladder placed against a house with a person standing on it while it is caught
in a groove.
We all know ladder safety and training is extremely important, but selling a accident waiting to happen
Question the retailers such as: Lowe's (336-658-4000), Grainger (847-535-1000)
Sam's Club (888-746-7726) and Menards (715-876-5911) and ask them their view on (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility. Profits are nice but not when consumer safety is at risk!
Home Depot stopped selling Werner Ladders and sells in my opinion a better and safer foot
design with the Louisville Ladder and I just thank God for Corporate Social Responsibility.
HERE ARE TWO BRAND NEW 11/2004 WERNER LADDERS BOTH USING THE SHU-LOK FOOT SYSTEM PICTURED BELOW.
PLEASE NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOTH THE WERNER FIBERGLASS AND WERNER
ALUMINUM EXTENSION LADDERS PICTURED ABOVE. (CURVED ARCH)
AREA OF CONCERN:
NOTICE THE MILLED GROOVED SLOT ON BOTH LADDERS WHERE THE SHU-LOK FEET CAN PIVOT
ON THE BOLT. I ASSUME THE SHU-LOK FEET ARE DESIGNED TO GLIDE UP AND DOWN ON THE BOLT DEPENDING ON THE ANGLE AND THIS IS WHERE THE DESIGN DOES HAVE A SERIOUS FLAW
IN MY OPINION.
NOTICE THE ALUMINUM WERNER LADDER WITH ITS SMOOTH ARCHED/ CURVED SHU-LOK FEET THAT SHOULD ALLOW THE MOVING FOOT TO PIVOT WITHOUT A CATCH POINT. NOW LOOK
AT THE DESIGN DIFFERENCE ON THE THE FIBERGLASS EXTENSION LADDER WITH THE SHU-LOK FEET. THE MILLING DIFFERS GREATLY BETWEEN THE TWO DESIGNS AND ALLOWS FOR A RESTING
POINT OR NOTCH FOR THE BOLT TO HANG UP ON. I DO NOT SEE ANY BENEFITS, BUT ONLY HAZARDS
ON THE FIBERGLASS DESIGN WHEN COMPARING BOTH STYLES. THE ALUMINUM DESIGNED FOOT
SERVES THE SAME PURPOSE BUT APPEARS TO BE SAFER THROUGH DESIGN.
ON WERNER PICTURES BELOW NOTICE THE UNDEFINED ARCH WITH A LEDGE THAT CAN
HOLD WEIGHT AS PICTURED BELOW. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH ALUMINUM LADDER.
NOTICE THE ARCH AND BOLT POSITION AND LOCATION IN THE GROOVED LEDGE AND HOW IT
CAN HOLD WEIGHT!! "WELL AT LEAST UNTIL YOUR WEIGHT SHIFTS IT OUT OF THE GROOVED
NOTCH, CAUSING THE LADDER TO DROP DOWN AND LOOSE FOOTING RESULTING IN THE BASE
FOOT KICKING OUT."
BELOW ARE ADDITIONAL PICTURES OF A WERNER FIBERGLASS MODEL
THE ALUMINUM LADDERS TO MY KNOWLEDGE THROUGH DESIGN SHOULD NOT CATCH
NOTICE THE BOLTS LOCATION AND WHAT / WHERE IT IS SITTING
Here is a Louisville Extension ladder that has a preset manufactured bolt in the base foot setup.
This design only allows the foot to pivot on the bolt avoiding catching in a notch or groove. (below)
Additional pictures can be seen at "Competitors or Home page"
“This website is my personal story of devastating injuries and, based on the facts I have uncovered, the nature and effects of these companies’ irresponsible behavior and disregard for human safety in the interest of profit.”
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