The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has just announced the availability of a new Ladder Safety smart phone application (app). The app's release is part of NIOSH's effort to help reduce falls on construction sites.
Falls from ladders are a common source of preventable construction injuries. Misjudging the ladder angle is a significant risk factor for a fall. If the ladder is set too steep it is more likely to fall back or away during use, and if it is set too shallow then the bottom can slide out.
This new app is targeted to workers. It combines visual and audio signals to enable workers using extension ladders to quickly check the angle at which the ladder is positioned. The app also allows workers to quickly access useful tips for using extension ladders safely. The app is available for free download for both iPhone and 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 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.
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.
To learn more and download the Ladder Safety app visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/. To learn how to include fall pervention into your safety program visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html.