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KU-EHS March Safety Tip, Week 3: Talking Ladder Safety with American Ladder Institute President Ryan Moss

Friday, March 10, 2017

March is National Ladder Safety Awareness Month


What is National Ladder Safety Month?

National Ladder Safety Month is the only movement dedicated exclusively to the promotion of ladder safety, at home and at work. During March 2017, National Ladder Safety Month will bring heightened awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders through resources, training and a national dialogue. KU-EHS is participating in this event and will be releasing weekly ladder safety tips. This week, we are releasing two documents from the American Ladder Institute (ALI), Basic Ladder Safety and the ALI Ladder Safety Checklist.

This week, we are highlighting the ladder industry's efforts in raising ladder safety awareness.


Talking Ladder Safety with American Ladder Institute President Ryan Moss


The American Ladder Institute, a not-for-profit association of ladder industry leaders dedicated to promoting safe ladder use, has declared March 2017 as National Ladder Safety Month. EHS Today sat down with Moss to hear more about his passion for ladder safety.

Mar 8, 2017 Sandy Smith | EHS Today

"Every year there are 300 ladder-related deaths and thousands of disabling injuries related to ladders," says Ryan Moss, president of the American Ladder Institute (ALI), and CEO of Little Giant Ladder Systems.

"Every day, 2,000 people are injured in ladder-related incidents – 100 of them with permanent disabilities – and one is killed," Moss soberly notes. "We were shocked and embarrassed to be involved with an industry that contributed to that many serious injuries."

"We listened to hundreds of safety professionals – big, burly construction guys – who shed tears talking about coworkers who were killed in ladder accidents and they were pleading for help to reduce those deaths and injuries," says Moss.

Ladders Are a Tool

Ladders are a tool, and like most tools, they are as safe as the workers using them. In the past 15 years, accidents and injuries have increased, says Moss.

So the ladder industry took a look at the five leading causes of ladder-related injuries:

  1. Repeated handling of large or heavy ladders can result in back, shoulder and knee injuries, as well as sprains and strains.
  2. Overreaching while on a ladder contributes to a large number of injuries. Ladder users stretch out over the side of a ladder rather than climb down and move it over a couple of feet. Doing so throws the user and the ladder off balance.
  3. Using the wrong type of ladder. Users try to make a step ladder work when a taller ladder is needed, often standing on the top of the ladder, which is unsafe. Using a chair or a stack of pallets as a ladder falls into this category as well, says Moss.
  4. Using the wrong size ladder. Moss says he often sees workers using ladders that stop a foot or two short of a roofline, rather than one that stops above the roof line. The transition from the top of a too-short ladder to the roof can be deadly. Again, choosing a ladder that is too short for the job often leads to standing on the top cap of the ladder, which also can cause a fatal injury.
  5. Missing the bottom rung when descending a ladder. Moss says a surprising number of injuries – ranging from twisted, sprained and broken ankles and knees to head injuries and fatalities – have resulted from a worker missing a rung on a ladder.

Full story on EHS Today

More Ladder Safety Training is available on EHS Blackboard site.

Courses available: Ladder Safety 101, Stepladder Safety, Single and Extension Ladder Safety, Mobile Ladder Safety and Articulated Ladder Safety.

Past Ladder Safety Month Stories

Week 1

Week 2

Report A Safety Concern

Report a concern to KU-EHS

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