February 29th, 2016 10:36 am ET - Peter Simeonov, PhD, and Rebecca Olsavsky, MS
The award-winning NIOSH Ladder Safety App is now updated based on our users’ feedback. First introduced in 2013, the app has received much positive feedback. As of the end of 2015, it has more than 52,000 downloads. Among those promoting the app are state officials, industry leaders, and safety professionals. Many companies have even incorporated the use of the app as part of their safety policy. It has also attracted considerable international attention and earned a merit award from the Digital Health Awards, a program that recognizes the world’s best digital health resources for consumers and health professionals.
Based on input from our users, we improved the app’s appearance, content, and function. The Ladder Safety App now includes step ladder safety and additional interactive tools. We also created aYouTube video which provides an overview of the app’s features.
Why all the fuss about ladder safety? In the United States, more than 500,000 people per year are treated—and about 300 people die—from ladder-related injuries. The estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the U.S. is $11 billion.
The app still provides user-friendly guides and interactive tools to prevent major causes of falls:
- Angle Measuring Tool—Uses visual, sound, and vibration signals to make it easier for users to set an extension ladder at the proper angle (approximately 75 degrees) and to check the verticality of extension and step ladders.
- Selection Tool—Provides a procedure to select 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.
Help us get the app into the hands of people who use ladders, and let us know if you have suggestions for the next update.
Download the free app, available in English and Spanish (adaptive to which language is set on your device), for iPhone/iPad or Android. Visit the NIOSH Ladder Safety Mobile Applicationwebsite to learn more.
Peter Simeonov, PhD, and Rebecca Olsavsky, MS
Peter Simeonov, PhD, is a Research Safety Engineer in the Protective Technology Branch in the NIOSH Division of Safety Research.
Rebecca Olsavsky, MS, is a Health Communications Specialist Fellow in the NIOSH Center for Motor Vehicle Safety.