The Importance of Safety Standard Compliance


In the construction industry, workers use dangerous equipment on a daily basis, as well as working at dangerous heights. To achieve this, they use scaffolding and heavy duty aluminum ladders. Statistics show that construction workers are at the highest chance of sustaining a work related injury, including falls.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,679 work related fatal injuries in 2014, and increase of 2% from the previous year. The majority of these were within the transportation industry, followed by the construction industry. Worryingly, fatal accidents within the construction industry saw an increase of 5%. Similar findings were reported for non-fatal injuries. It is clear, therefore, that something has to be done.

Safety Standard Compliance

In order to make sure safety requirements are met and the incidents of work related injuries drops, common safety practices have to be put into place. Not only does this protect workers and the general public, it also means that costs are reduced. To achieve this, one thing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has done, is to determine that all aluminum ladders used on construction sites are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Aluminum is very commonly used in ladders because it is highly durable while still being lightweight. Because of this, it is also found in a range of other types of construction materials, including extension ladders and platform ladders. Good construction ladders are made of 6061-T6, high grade aircraft aluminum alloys. This means that their strength to weight ratio is increased, making them even stronger.

Aluminum ladders can and should be enhanced, improving their security. This can be done by adding certain features like steel aircraft bolts made of wear resistant nickel alloys. Additionally, critical points should have bushings added to them. Construction ladders are now generally fitted with foolproof action ground spikes. This stops them from swiveling back and from jamming. They should also have serrated rungs, which gives them better grip footing.

Extension ladders and aluminum platform ladders that have been enhanced in this way meet both the ANSI A 14.7 and A 14.2 Type I and Type IA and OSHA standards, essentially proving that the ladder is safe. These ladders are also always corrosion resistant, retain their lightweight properties making them easy to carry, and are surprisingly affordable. Put together, this has made them incredibly popular with both construction workers and companies.

Construction companies should have no difficulties in finding aluminum ladder manufacturers, ensuring that their free standing units are properly crafted and meet the necessary standards, be that for regular ladders or extension ladders. If they have to complete a non-conventional projects, manufacturers can often create custom designed ladders that meet all the necessary specifications.

If a construction company ensures that their employees only work with ANSI and OSHA approved products, then they not only meet the legal safety standards, they have also made a clear commitment to improving the security and safety of their staff.