The slick, small foot surface area of a ladder rung is one of the most dangerous places to be. When an employee must work on a ladder, a fall can cause devastating injuries — traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries, paralysis, and internal organ damage, to name a few.
Because of the potential for such serious consequences, prevention of falls from elevation have been the subject of regulation in an effort to reduce these incidents – see OSHA-1926-1053-a6i.
Please note: Some anti-slip measures like corrugated, knurled, or dimpled metal and gritted tape lose anti-slip properties when exposed to foot traffic. The metal ridges or grits that are meant to grip footwear simply wear down and become smooth. Inspection of current conditions is required and may reveal a need for a retrofit anti-slip cover.
Manuel shifted on the sofa, trying to get comfortable. The post-surgery brace on his knee restricted his movement, reducing any chance of relaxing to zero. With daytime TV reducing his brain to mush, he wondered if he would ever get back to his energetic, optimistic, pre-slip condition.
A crane operator at the aluminum extruding plant for four years, Manuel had been a reliable and punctual worker. He enjoyed the fast pace and teamwork in the plant. He and his coworkers relied on each other’s skill and timing to keep the flow of production moving without incident.
Manuel sometimes subbed for the floor lead and his supervisor encouraged him to take steps toward advancing his career. He cross-trained at every opportunity so he could one day move up to a supervisor position.
The day of the accident, Manuel was filling in for the material handler’s lunch break. When the overhead crane froze, he had to go up to the cockpit as he had hundreds of times before. He easily climbed the access ladder and rebooted the machine. It was on the way back down that his foot slipped off the rung. Manuel caught himself in time to avoid falling to the ground, but cried out in pain as his knee struck hard on the lower rung.
Manuel slid down the ladder to the ground. As his coworkers surrounded him, he gingerly tried to walk. Two coworkers helped to support him as he limped to the office. They applied ice to his knee and called the supervisor to report the accident. Manuel was taken to the local emergency room for treatment.
An MRI showed that Manuel had shattered his kneecap and damaged ligaments in his knee as well. Surgery would be required to rebuild the patella. The time needed for recovery and rehabilitation could be anywhere from 6 months to one year. And the cost for medical treatment alone would amount to more than $40,000.
With all the training on safe practices and warnings about dangers present in his workplace, Manuel never thought he would be taken down by a slip-and-fall injury. Even companies who take safety seriously sometimes overlook the very real danger that slick surfaces pose. The good news is that slips can be prevented without a lot of expense or disruption to production schedules. For example, anti-slip ladder rung covers can be installed on fixed ladders to protect the workers that need to use them.
Workers like Manuel are worth protecting. Get started today.
So many aspects of ladder safety to focus on for Ladder Safety Month … there are over 130,000 emergency room visits each year due to ladder-related injuries according to The American Ladder Institute. We believe that you can help reduce that number simply by installing Safeguard’s Hi-Traction Anti-Slip Ladder Rung Covers on fixed ladders, especially in environments with water, oil, or dust making things slippery.
Installation of Safeguard® Hi-Traction® Anti-Slip Ladder Rung Covers is an easy but important safety enhancement. The small, often slick ladder rung surface combined with the potential for falling from heights makes ladders a dangerous area for slips-and-falls.
This video explains, step-by-step, how to install fiberglass ladder rung covers using Sikaflex 252 adhesive. Steel-base covers can also use adhesive, or those can be tack-welded.