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Ladder Safety in the Construction Industry

October 28, 2009

Based on an article by members of the Alliance Program Construction Roundtable, through the OSHA Alliance Program, fall fatalities in the construction industry are more prevalent than they should be.  Out of a total of 433 fatal falls for 2006, 68 were from ladders.  These falls could be the result of ladder rungs without a slip resistant coating.  Portable and fixed ladders are a necessity to the construction industry, making slips and falls a possibility on a daily basis.

The following statistics make it apparent why slip and fall prevention on ladders is crucial.  When falling from a ladder, by the time you react, your body will be four feet below where you fell.  A realistic reaction time for a human is one second. In one second, under the force of gravity, a body will fall 16 feet. Using a reaction time of .5 seconds, on the higher side, your body center will travel four feet downward.

Anti slip ladder rungs and covers are a permanent sturdy solution to slips and falls.  Anti slip ladder rungs can be easily incorporated into building and designing new ladders, and are also designed to be easily retrofitted over existing dangerous ladder rungs.  Non slip ladder rungs and covers are a small cost in comparison to the costs of an injury or even worse, a fatality. Architects can help eliminate fatalities by specifying anti slip ladder rungs to be incorporated into new projects to ensure the safety of pedestrians and workers. Construction site managers are also responsible for equipping personal portable ladders used to complete jobs with slip resistance, and keeping employees safe.

Alliance Program Construction Roundtable. “Prevention of Fall Fatalities and Injuries in Construction

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