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Factors affecting extension ladder angular positioning.

Authors
Simeonov-P; Hsiao-H; Kim-I-J; Powers-JR; Kau-T-Y
Source
Hum Factors 2012 Jun; 54(3):334-345
NIOSHTIC No.
20040879
Abstract
Objective: The study objectives were to identify factors affecting extension ladders' angular positioning and evaluate the effectiveness of two anthropometric positioning methods. Background: A leading cause for extension ladder fall incidents is a slide-out event, usually related to suboptimal ladder inclination. An improved ladder positioning method or procedure could reduce the risk of ladder stability failure and the related fall injury. Method: Participants in the study were 20 experienced and 20 inexperienced ladder users. A series of ladder positioning tests was performed in a laboratory environment with 4.88-m (16-ft) and 7.32-m (24-ft) ladders in extended and retracted positions. The setup methods included a no-instruction condition and two anthropometric approaches: the American National Standards Institute A14 and "fireman" methods. Performance measures included positioning angle and time. Results: The results indicated that ladder setup method and ladder effective length, defined by size and extended state, affected ladder positioning angle. On average, both anthropometric methods were effective in improving extension ladder positioning; however, they required 50% more time than did the no-instruction condition and had a 9.5% probability of setting the ladder at a less-than-70 degree angle. Shorter ladders were consistently positioned at shallower angles. Conclusion: Anthropometric methods may lead to safer ladder positioning than does no instruction when accurately and correctly performed. Workers tended to underperform as compared with their theoretical anthropometric estimates. Specific training or use of an assistive device may be needed to improve ladder users' performance. Application: The results provide practical insights for employers and workers to correctly set up extension ladders.
Keywords
Human-factors-engineering; Ladders; Height-factors; Anthropometry; Fall-protection; Failure-analysis; Testing-equipment; Construction-equipment; Ground-control; Ground-stability; Laboratory-testing; Extension-ladders; Equipment-reliability; Performance-capability; Task-performance; Training; Safety-research; Bionics; Biomechanics; Author Keywords: extension ladders; ladder safety; angular positioning; anthropometric methods
Contact
Peter Simeonov, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, MS G-800, 1095 Willowdale Rd., Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
CODEN
HUFAA6
Publication Date
20120601
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
psimeonov@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
B06202012
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0018-7208
NIOSH Division
DSR
Priority Area
Construction
Source Name
Human Factors
State
WV; MI
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