The safety profession seems to be a little slower than others in adapting new technology to improve workplace safety. But this trend may be changing.
For example, NIOSH recently released its first app for smart phones that’s designed to improve extension ladder safety.
When setting up an extension ladder, it’s critical to get the angle right. If the ladder is too steep, it’s more likely to fall back or slide during use; if it’s too shallow, then the bottom can slide out.
The NIOSH Ladder Safety phone app has an angle of inclination indicator that uses visual and audible signals to make it easier for workers—or anyone who uses an extension ladder—to set the ladder at the proper angle of 75.5°.
Using the app can help workers avoid falls from ladders. So it’s a good tool for employers who want to ensure a safe workplace—and it’s free. The app is available through the NIOSH website, the Apple App-store and Android Apps on Google Play.
The OHS Insider also has articles, tools and other resources to help you ensure that workers use both extension and step ladders correctly, including:
- The requirements under the OHS laws for portable ladders
- An extension ladder safety checklist
- A step ladder safety checklist
- A quiz to test workers on their ladder training
- A form workers can use to inspect ladders to ensure that they’re in good condition before using them.