Extension-ladder safety: Solutions and knowledge gaps

H. Hsiao, P. Simeonov, T. Pizatella, N. Stout, V. McDougall, J. Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Falls from ladders are the second leading cause for work-related fatalities in the US construction industry. A significant portion of these incidents occurs at building-construction-and-maintenance worksites during the use of extension ladders. This paper presents the results of a critical literature review related to: (1) risk factors associated with falls from extension ladders, (2) practical engineering solutions that may reduce fall-from-extension-ladder incidents, and (3) questions pertaining to ladder safety that remain unanswered. The review results show that the underlying causes of falls involving extension ladders include the ladder-base slipping out, ladders tipping, workers slipping while on ladders or transitioning from a ladder to a surface at height, and mechanical failures. Some engineering control measures are available in the literature; yet, significant knowledge gaps remain. The knowledge-gap analysis identified four actions needed to advance ladder-safety practice: (1) research on visual indicators to assist in setting up ladders at the correct angle, (2) developing and evaluating measures to ease the transition from a ladder to a surface at heights, (3) integrating ladder accessories into a convertible design to ease the carrying, assembling, and storing of multiple accessories, and thus to encourage safe practices, and (4) developing a graphic-oriented practical guide for safe ladder use, maintenance, and mechanical-flaw detection. Relevance to industry: This paper identified knowledge gaps associated with extension-ladder use for advancing ladder-safety interventions. The development and evaluation of ladder-safety innovations will provide the necessary feedback to ladder manufacturers and ladder-standard-setting bodies for design enhancement and will provide workers practical solutions to reduce injury risks associated with extension-ladder use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-965
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Volume38
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

knowledge gap
Ladders
Safety
incident
engineering
paper industry
worker
cause
construction industry
Maintenance
Construction Industry
Workplace
innovation
Industry
evaluation
Wounds and Injuries
Research
Accessories
literature

Keywords

  • Accessory
  • Construction
  • Fall prevention
  • Ladder
  • Slip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Hsiao, H., Simeonov, P., Pizatella, T., Stout, N., McDougall, V., & Weeks, J. (2008). Extension-ladder safety: Solutions and knowledge gaps. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 38(11-12), 959-965. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2008.01.011

Extension-ladder safety : Solutions and knowledge gaps. / Hsiao, H.; Simeonov, P.; Pizatella, T.; Stout, N.; McDougall, V.; Weeks, J.

In: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Vol. 38, No. 11-12, 11.2008, p. 959-965.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hsiao, H, Simeonov, P, Pizatella, T, Stout, N, McDougall, V & Weeks, J 2008, 'Extension-ladder safety: Solutions and knowledge gaps', International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, vol. 38, no. 11-12, pp. 959-965. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2008.01.011
Hsiao H, Simeonov P, Pizatella T, Stout N, McDougall V, Weeks J. Extension-ladder safety: Solutions and knowledge gaps. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 2008 Nov;38(11-12):959-965. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2008.01.011
Hsiao, H. ; Simeonov, P. ; Pizatella, T. ; Stout, N. ; McDougall, V. ; Weeks, J. / Extension-ladder safety : Solutions and knowledge gaps. In: International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 2008 ; Vol. 38, No. 11-12. pp. 959-965.
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