Thursday, August 24, 2006

F Minus

The ladder. That’s what I noticed about this cartoon strip from Tony Carrillo. “F Minus” has been picked up by the Houston Chronicle recently – United Media just syndicated the strip this past April.

I enjoy it. Minimalist and funny. But here the cartoonist’s blatant disregard for the basics of workplace safety…well, it’s shocking. Shocking.

A major consumer organization, which must remain nameless because of its rigorous and heavily enforced policy of complete independence, issued a compelling review of ladders in its magazine: the September 2006 number, pages 42-44. Clearly, Carrillo’s ladder wouldn’t meet the standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). No spreaders. Of course, the article quotes a leading ladder expert who said that side-stability tests haven’t been substantially updated for more than 25 years.

The standard is older than the cartoonist.

Then there’s the American Ladder Institute; don’t get me started about it. It claims there’s a revised ANSI 14 Standard available. You should download its “Ladder Safety & Education” single-sheet here right away.

Today’s CONSUMER WARNING: Don’t let Carrillo’s image of the ladder lead you astray. At least follow the consumer organization’s three how-to-choose steps:

1. Look beyond the label.
2. Consider the material.
3. Try before buying.

Oh, yeah: the artist misspelled the word “Signs.” Maybe that’s his idea of a gag. Humph!

Strip ©Tony Carrillo/Distributed by UFS, Inc. Please, Mr. Carrillo, don't take it out on me.

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