ladderThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) first smart phone application (app) aims to improve extension ladder safety. The Ladder Safety app addresses the major causes of ladder falls by placing a number of interactive and easy-to-use graphic-oriented tools into the hands of the ladder users upon demand.

The app features an angle of inclination indicator which uses visual, sound, and vibration signals making it easier for workers and other users to set an extension ladder at the proper angle of approximately 75.5 degrees. The app also includes a “Selection” tool which provides an interactive and easy-to-use procedure to select the minimum required ladder duty-rating corresponding to the user characteristics and task.

The app also features an “Inspection” tool which provides a comprehensive, graphic-based, interactive and easy-to-use checklist for ladder mechanical inspection. OSHA regulations and ANSI A14 standards include a set of rules for safe ladder use – the app’s “Proper Use” tool presents these rules in a clear graphic format, which is both informative and easy to understand.

Using smart phone technology, the NIOSH Ladder Safety app delivers free and easy-to-use ladder safety tools and information, reference materials, and training resources into the hands of individual ladder users wherever and when they are needed.

The app features a multimodal indicator and a graphic-oriented guide for ladder selection, inspection, positioning, accessorizing, and safe use. The app is also available in Spanish (to view and use, select Spanish as the phone language).

How was the ladder app received?

As of the end of April 2014, the app has been downloaded more than 18,880 times. NIOSH expects these high rates of downloads will continue with the recent release of the Spanish version of the app and continued marketing. The app has been highly rated by ladder users and promoted by state officials, industry leaders, and safety professionals. Many companies have incorporated the use of the app as part of their safety policy. It has also received considerable international attention.