The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has produced a new smart phone app that enhances ladder safety.
The app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using extension ladders to check the angle the ladder is positioned at. It also allows them to access useful tips for using extension ladders safely.
Falls from ladders are a common source of preventable construction injuries, and misjudging the ladder angle is a significant contributory factor to falls. If the ladder is set too steep it is more likely to fall back or away during use. If it is set too shallow then the bottom can slide out.
“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 provides feedback to the user on positioning the extension ladder at the optimal angle. It 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.
To download the Ladder Safety app visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/
Click here to learn about the campaign to prevent falls in construction.
NIOSH collaborated with DSFederal on the final development and testing of the app before release. The app is based on a multimodal inclination indicator for ladder positioning that has been recently awarded a US patent.