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A painter on a scaffold

  1. Jan 2, 2005 #1
    A 60 KG painter is on a scaffold supported from above by ropes. The scaffold has a mass of 25 kg, and is uniformly constructed. There is a 4.0 kg pail of paint off to one side. Can the painter walk safely to both ends of the scaffold? If not which end(s) is dangerous and how close to the end can he approach safely.

    The pail above is 1.5 m right of the left rope. There is a diagram here so Im not really asking how to solve it necessarily, I just don't know how to show something is tipping. Obviously when he walks over to the left its going to have a greater chance to tip because of the pail's additional weight, but I don't know how to show that its going tip over
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2005 #2
    I think you need to make a force diagram and check torque to see if at all points the torque provided from jacob is less than that of the weight of the scafolding and the weight of the pail, but thats just guessing.
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