ladderThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)’s ladder safety smart phone app is a finalist in the national HHS Innovates awards contest. The app addresses the major causes of ladder falls by placing a number of interactive and easy-to-use graphic-oriented safety tools, checklists and guides into the hands of ladder users wherever and when they are needed.

The HHS Innovates program recognizes and celebrates internal innovations by employees and promotes them across the Department as well as to the public. The public voting period to help select “The People’s Choice” will take place May 29 - June 6, 2014. Vote here  

The app was developed by researchers in the Division of Safety Research at NIOSH’s Morgantown, WV laboratories. Researchers Peter Simeonov, Hongwei Hsiao and John Powers developed the application that uses the latest safety research and smart phone technology to provide instant feedback on the angular position of an extension ladder to help set the ladder to the optimum angle. The app also features “Selection” and “Inspection” tools which provide easy-to-use procedures to select the appropriate ladder for the task, and a checklist for ladder inspection, prior to use. 

Ladder fall injuries are a major occupational and public safety problem that costs the U.S. billions each year. Setting up ladders at the proper angle and following safety guidelines is an effective way to reduce the risk of ladder fall injuries – a persistent workplace hazard. The app‘s multimodal angle indicator is based on a ladder positioning concept that has been awarded a U.S. patent.

The app is available in English and Spanish as a free download for iPhone and Android mobile devices. It has been downloaded more than 18,000 times since its release in June 2013. To learn more and download the Ladder Safety app visit:   

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit