Ladder Safety Becomes a Major Concern

June 8th, 2016 by Casey Flores

Falls are a major hazard in the construction field, accounting for 349 out of 874 total deaths in construction in 2014, according to statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Ladders play a big role in a lot of those accidents.

OSHA statistics show that violations related to ladders ranked as the seventh most frequently cited standard by the agency in fiscal year 2015.

To educate employers and employees on the fall hazards associated with ladders, the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America has introduced a spring safety campaign, according to a recent report in Claims Journal.

The campaign website contains several tools to help policyholders, including brochures, tip sheets and helpful links. These materials cover topics such as the basics of ladder safety, lift safety and fall safety.

“Ladder safety remains a major concern of ours,” David Hintz, manager of Loss Control for Accident Fund, told Claims Journal. “Being conscious of ladder safety is one way to prevent workplace accidents and keep workers safe on the job. And it’s not only a problem in the workplace. The same things are happening around the home as people often overlook common-sense safety tips when getting on a ladder to clean gutters or to perform other routine tasks. Most of these accidents are completely avoidable.”

Claims Journal also describes a smartphone app from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that’s specifically geared toward ladders. Launched in 2013, the app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using extension ladders to check how the ladder is positioned. It’s available in English and Spanish as a free download for Apple iPhone/iPad and Google Android devices.

“The ladder safety app is an innovative way to help keep workers safe and a tool to reduce these preventable injuries,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The development of this smart phone app also demonstrates how we are constantly working to make science-based practical information accessible to workers and employers in a way they need and can easily use.”

The app also provides references and a safety guide for extension ladder selection, inspection, accessorizing and use. It was developed with input from the ANSI A14 committee on Ladder Safety, the American Ladder Institute, and other stakeholders.


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