NIOSH Ladder-Safety App Available

By Roy Maurer Aug 28, 2013

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released its first smartphone application for mobile devices. The free app focuses on ladder safety to prevent injuries.

The app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using an extension ladder to check the angle the ladder is positioned at; it also allows them to access useful tips for using extension ladders safely.

“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 smartphone 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.”

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.

The app has an angle-of-inclination indicator that uses visual and audible signals to help workers and other users set an extension ladder at the proper angle of 75.5 degrees, NIOSH said. It also provides references and a safety guide for extension-ladder selection, inspection, accessorizing and use.

The app is available through the NIOSH website by clicking here, Apple App Store by clicking here, and Android Market by clicking here.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him on Twitter @SHRMRoy.

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