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NIOSH Ladder Safety app offers impressive toolset

If the jobs you handle involve working with straight ladders or extension ladders, then you really ought to download the NIOSH Ladder Safety app for your smartphone. It combines intelligent interactivity with a wealth of reference information to help you and your crews work more safely with them on the jobsite. Here’s a summary of some of its most useful features: Ladder selection tool: This interactive screen prompts you for your weight, and then asks if the ladder you need will be used near exposed electrical conductors. Based on your inputs, it recommends a specific duty rating and weight capacity of ladder that will enable you to work safely. Measuring tool: The Ladder Safety app uses your smartphone’s built-in accelerometer to help you ensure that your extension ladder is properly positioned relative to the surface you’ve leaned it against - not too steep nor too shallow. To properly position your ladder, simply hold your phone flat against the side rail next to the front edge of your ladder. Move the ladder until the app displays a green arrow, which indicates it is now at an optimal angle. Interactive ladder inspection: this inspection screen contains an image of an extension ladder. Overlaid on it is a set of 9 green circles. Click on one, and a panel pops up, which contains an expanded version of the ladder component, what to look for when inspecting it and a brief description of how it should operate under normal conditions. At the same time, the green icon changes to a red one to let you know that you have already completed that step.

Ladder resources: In addition to these cool tools, the NIOSH Ladder Safety app also included numerous well-organized resources on selection, set up, proper use and accessories for ladders. The last section lets you scroll through illustrations and explanations of items such as stabilizer straps, side rail end covers and several types of stand-offs. If you’re not familiar with these types of accessories, this section of the app will be very instructive for you. Display settings: The developers who created the Ladder Safety app for NIOSH knew that it would be used in a variety of settings: outdoors (in bright sunlight), indoors (where not as much ambient light is available) and everything between. So they thoughtfully included a light bulb icon at the top of each screen that lets you toggle the display between black lettering on a white background and vice versa. This collection of well-designed, easy-to-use tools and resources makes the Ladder Safety app a must-have for and construction worker who carries a smartphone on the job. You can download the Ladder Safety app from the Apple AppStore (for iPhone users) or Google Play website (for Android users).

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