Extension-Ladder Safety: Multimodal-feedback Indicator for Improved Ladder Positioning Safety and Efficiency


Improper positioning of an extension ladder frequently results in "ladder slide-outs," which are the most common cause of ladder-fall scenarios. This invention relates to an extension ladder positioning indicator which is easily installed in a ladder rung; provides multiple cues (visual, sound, and vibration) for rapidly identifying and positioning correct ladder inclination.

CDC-NIOSH researchers found that this technology improved accuracy and efficiency of ladder positioning for both "experienced" and "novice" ladder users, as compared to the "no instruction" method and the standard anthropometric method, and that it was also significantly faster than the bubble indicator method. When properly implemented, this effective and easy to use ladder positioning indicator will reduce the risk of extension ladder slipping and tipping and, ultimately, will reduce the number of fall incidents and injuries – benefitting construction workers, employers, contractors and workplace insurers.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Retrofitting existing ladders to provide automated, multisensory feedback for improved compliance with OSHA and ANSI ladder-angle safety guidelines
  • Ladder manufacturing companies
  • Construction contractors, retailers and insurers
  • Training tool to aid worker safety education and adherence
 
  • Direct, multimodal user feedback reduces the time for accurate, safe ladder positioning compared to bubble-level indicator, anthropometric and sight- based ladder-positioning methods
  • Visual, auditory and tactile feedback provide increased efficient-setup and safety
  • Technology can be incorporated as an attachable, device which may be affixed to a ladder or integrated as an app for a mobile/tablet device
  • Automated feedback ensures ladders are angled to OSHA and ANSI safety specifications


Development Stage:
  • In situ data available (on-site)
  • Prototype


Inventors:

Peter Simeonov (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

Hongwei Hsiao (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...

John Powers (CDC)  ➽ more inventions...


Intellectual Property:
U.S. Pat: 8,167,087 issued 2012-05-01

Publications:
Simeonov P, et al. PMID 23177178

Licensing Contact:
Karen Surabian, J.D., M.B.A.
Email: karen.surabian@nih.gov
Phone: 301-594-9719

OTT Reference No: E-141-2013/0
Updated: Feb 6, 2014