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June 17, 2013
NIOSH Update:

New NIOSH Smart Phone App Addresses Ladder Safety

Contact: Christina Spring (202) 245-0633

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) announces the availability of a new Ladder Safety smart phone application (app). This new app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using extension ladders to check the angle the ladder is positioned at, as well as access useful tips for using extension ladders safely. The app is available for free download for both iPhone and Android devices.

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 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 http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/ and to learn about the campaign to prevent falls in construction go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/construction/stopfalls.html

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about our work visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

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