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Wave of the Future? New Ladder Safety App Hits Streets

9/10/2014 | Construction Blog

The word on the street is that Apple’s I-Phone 6 will be released soon. This may even include a “watch-phone” that almost everyone assumed – despite being convinced it was way off in the future – was coming at some point. This is just more evidence that technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we do business every day.

Construction is no different. Among the most recent developments is the release of a ladder safety smartphone app released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The interactive tool is designed to provide valuable information to workers in the field by placing an interactive interface in which tools, checklists, and guides can be easily accessed for information. By using safety research and smartphone technology, the app can provide “instant feedback” on things like ladder placement and angles.

This technology may be a bridge to safer worksites. Falls from ladders remain the biggest percentage of fall injuries in the construction sector according to 2011 surveys. Close to 81% of construction fall injuries treated in emergency rooms are ladder related; and 43% of fatal falls involve ladders. These falls are often caused by failing to obey some of the simplest of safety rules. By placing smartphone technology in the hands of workers, they will be more inclined to ask a question about ladders. Consulting an app avoids the embarrassment of asking a supervisor and giving the impression that one doesn’t know how to do the job.

The app can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/fall/mobileapp.html. It can be downloaded in English or Spanish.