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Preventing Ladder Injuries – One Step at a Time

Ryan Moss never wants to hear a story about a person falling off a ladder. Each tale is as painful as it is preventable.

Yet Moss knows the best way to confront the issue is to start a conversation. As president of the American Ladder Institute, he has met hundreds of safety professionals from across the country.

“We just listened and tried to really … understand the problem in-depth,” Moss said. “I talked to a safety professional we brought into our facility who said his best friend with two little girls fell off an extension ladder, and it killed him. It left these two little girls without a father.

“I have seen grown men with big, burly beards who have been in the safety professional world cry as they talked about going to the hospital and hearing men’s wives say, ‘This was your responsibility to make sure he was safe. What happened?’ It’s just a lot of experiences talking to people and recognizing that this is a really big problem, and yet the industry itself – and maybe everybody in general – has come to accept it in a way.”

ALI states that it refuses to accept that “accidents happen” with regard to ladders. The organization, which is made up of 16 North American ladder manufacturers (Moss is CEO of Springville, UT-based Little Giant Ladder Systems), is responsible for developing ladder safety standards. It decided to launch an initiative to address ladder-related incidents that kill almost three workers every week and injure more than 50 workers every day in the United States.

Welcome to the first National Ladder Safety Month.

Beginning in March – and every March going forward – the campaign will include a variety of resources for safety professionals and others who work on all types of ladders. ALI believes ladder injuries are preventable with proper training and product innovations, and is calling on safety professionals to help achieve six goals:
1.    Decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.
2.    Increase the number of ladder safety training certificates issued by ALI.
3.    Increase the frequency of ladder safety training modules viewed at www.laddersafetytraining.org.
4.    Lower the ranking of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s annual “Top 10” list.
5.    Increase the number of training sessions for competent ladder inspectors.
6.    Increase the number of individuals and companies that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders. -(Read entire article)

Tom Musick