Ladder Safety App Aims to Reduce Worker Falls

Two workers using ladder safety app
March is National Ladder Safety Month. The Ladder Safety App provides employers, workers, and homeowners with tools to prevent extension and step ladder-related fall injuries and deaths. Download this free, award-winning app today.

Falls are a persistent hazard in the workplace as well as at home. In the United States, over 500,000 people experience ladder-related injuries each year,1 and more than 300 people die from such injuries.2

Who is at risk for ladder falls?

Anyone who uses a ladder can fall. However, workers who are male, Hispanic, older, self-employed, and work for smaller companies are at greater risk. Also, construction, maintenance, and repair workers experience higher rates of ladder fall injuries and deaths.3

Screenshot of ladder app

Since its release in 2013, the NIOSH Ladder Safety app has been downloaded more than 120,000 times. Download for free from the Apple Storeexternal icon or Google Playexternal icon.

What are the major causes of ladder falls?

  • Incorrect extension ladder setup angle
  • Inappropriate ladder selection for the job or project
  • Insufficient ladder inspection
  • Improper ladder use
  • Lack of access to ladder safety tools and information

How does the app work?

To address the leading causes of ladder falls and prevent them, CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed the NIOSH Ladder Safety app. The app provides employers, workers, and those doing home improvement projects with the following tools:

  • Angle Measuring Tool uses visual, sound, and vibration signals to make it easier for users to set an extension ladder at the proper angle of 75.5 degrees.
  • Decision Tool offers tips to plan your job using a ladder while considering time, materials, and tools required.
  • Selection Tool provides a procedure to select the appropriate ladder size and the minimum required ladder duty rating corresponding to user characteristics and task.
  • Inspection Tool includes a comprehensive checklist for ladder mechanical inspection.
  • Proper Use Tool presents a set of rules for safe ladder use in a user-friendly format.
  • Accessories Tool describes a number of available extension ladder safety accessories.

How do I get the app?

The Ladder Safety app is available in English and Spanish for iPhone and Android devices. Download for free from the Apple Storeexternal icon or Google Play.external icon

References

  1. CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) [2014]. Unpublished data from the National Injury Information Clearinghouse (CPSC) using the CPSC’s Injury Cost Model.
  2. CDC, National Center for Health Statistics [2017]. Multiple Cause of Death 1999-2015 on CDC WONDER Online Database. Accessed at About Multiple Cause of Death, 1999-2015.
  3. Socias C., Chaumont Menéndez C, Collins J, Simeonov P [2014]. Occupational Ladder Fall Injuries – United States, 2011. MMWR 63(16), April 25, 2014; 341-346.
Page last reviewed: March 20, 2017
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