Aluminium ladder with broken rail

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Old 08-17-11, 02:14 PM
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Aluminium ladder with broken rail

We have an aluminium ladder with a snapped leg/rail. (See images below.)

What's the best way to fasten this (that doesn't involve welding preferably)?

A strip to cross the gap + some sort of rivet?




Although it is never used except for small, private tasks, we would obviously like a robust repair.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 02:19 PM
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Ouch! Broken ladders are supposed to be scrapped out, not repaired

How far from the bottom is the break? it's a stepladder right?
 
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Old 08-17-11, 02:20 PM
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I wouldn't chance it, I'd replace the ladder.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 02:56 PM
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Hi Mark. It's a step ladder, yes. The break is about half-way up if I recall correctly.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 06:10 PM
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Only one fix for that. Hacksaw through the rest of the rails at that point and then toss the ladder.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 06:49 PM
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Unless something more current has been published, my OSHA manual on page 78 states "take ladders with structural defects out of service until repaired". and later adds "repair ladders to equal the original design before using again".

So according to that, you "could" make a repair to a ladder, but who is to say that the repair meets or exceeds the original design?

Of course, if the OP is not a contractor he can do what he wants. But I'm with the others. Buy a new one. I don't think any mechanical fastener or reinforcement would "equal the original design." Therefore it's not guaranteed safe.

I also just noticed the OP is in Ireland. I don't think OSHA has made it across the pond yet. LOL At any rate, since their guidelines are for our safety, they are often a good guideline to go by, even if you are not bound by them.
 
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Old 08-17-11, 07:18 PM
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The only way to make a repair is to have it welded. For that you need a TIG welder.
Scrap it out and by a new one.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 03:32 AM
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From the pictures I'm having a hard time figuring out what part of the ladder that is. In the background it looks like the rear legs. The leg that broke does not look large or heavy enough to be a front leg. Whatever part it is that broke I would scrap the ladder.

I'm at the point in my life (no longer as young and stupid) where I do all I can to avoid accidents/injuries. With my luck I'd only be on the first rung and the ladder would fail and break a window ($250), I'd trip on a paint can ($20 for spilled paint) as I stumble off the ladder and fall and catch my head on something on the way down and who knows how much the urgent care visit would cost. Whatever the cost and accident almost always is more expensive and time consuming than fixing the problem that caused the accident.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 01:07 PM
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Ok. The opinions seem fairly unanimous - thumbs down for a non-welding repair.

Thanks for your input.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 01:10 PM
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I am not sure if being a private individual is more of an advantage in making a repair like this than in business or industry.

In industry the worker is protected and would be looked after when the repair fails, rather it would be the supervisor and company that would get crucified if something happened.
If it is a personal situation and got hurt you would be sitting at home, unable to work and wishing you hadn't tried to repair your ladder!

Here, ladder repairs are forbidden in the workplace.
There are some cases with similar situations we can use our judgement to make an acceptable repair, but in the area we are taking about there is no discipline that has "ladder repair" as part of it's training.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 01:10 PM
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Yep....take it to a recycle yard for the metal value and then apply that to the cost of a new one.
 
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Old 08-18-11, 03:44 PM
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.... and I would add that you should look at a fiberglass ladder as a replacement. They are a lot sturdier than the aluminum ladders. Also the duty rating is important, I prefer a type I or IA. A lot of diyers buy the type III ladders because they are rated for homeowner use. The problem is they are also the cheapest made and tend to get wobblier with every use Once upon a time I worked a few months for a cheap painting contractor, he had some type III 16' extension ladders that scared me...... and I've spent a good portion of my working life on ladders. The extra cost for a type II or better is well worth it
 
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