The first-ever National Ladder Safety Month, sponsored by the American Ladder Institute (ALI), is taking place this month. According to the ALI, the event 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."

"Every year, over 300 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries," said Ryan Moss, president of the ALI, and CEO of Little Giant Ladder Systems. "National Ladder Safety Month will heighten awareness, reinforce safety training, and educate homeowners and working professionals. The American Ladder Institute is calling upon all individuals and organizations throughout the nation to promote and to participate in ladder safety."

During the month, the ALI will focus on the following:

  • Reducing the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities
  • Lowering the ranking of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA's yearly Top 10 citations list
  • Boosting the number of ladder safety training sessions completed on www.laddersafetytraining.org
  • Increasing the number of recorded competent ladder inspector trainings
  • Increasing the number of companies that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged, or obsolete ladders

The ALI's efforts precede OSHA's annual National Fall Protection Stand-Down, which, this year is taking place May 8–12 and will have ladder safety as one of its components.

While OSHA as a whole is not engaging in any national effort to promote National Ladder Safety Month, two of OSHA's area directors gave a presentation at ALI's "National Ladder Safety Symposium" on March 2 at the OSHA Education Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, sharing real-life stories of ladder incidents. One of the presenters was Jack Rector, area director of OSHA's Ft. Worth office.

"I've witnessed the aftermath of countless [ladder-related] workplace deaths, and each leaves a painful memory," he said. "The only way I can even begin to rationalize deaths like these is to talk about them with the hope that these stories will convince others to take the time and effort to be safe while using ladders."

What do ladder manufacturers have planned for National Ladder Safety Month?

According to Chris Filardi, VP of Marketing at Werner Ladder, the company is offering free resources on its website as a way to celebrate National Ladder Safety Month. These include ladder safety tips, downloadable ladder safety inspection forms, video-based safety training courses, and comprehensive fall protection support. In addition, Werner will sponsor one the ALI's contests (March 19–25), the theme of which is "Ladder Safety at Home." And, in May, to promote OSHA's Stand Down, the company will provide jobsite safety training to thousands of end users.

Little Giant Ladder Systems' Moss was also a presenter at the ALI's National Ladder Symposium on March 2, speaking on case studies and examples of how fall protection and fall prevention efforts and training increase safety performance, reduce injuries, save lives and reduce costs. The company is also sponsoring one of the ALI's contests (March 1–11), the theme of which is "Ladder Safety and How it Affects Everyone."

Louisville Ladder is also an ALI contest sponsor (March 12–18), the theme of which is "Ladder Safety at Work."

Heff Industries (manufacturers of the Tool Mule), is taking a little different approach.

"If you buy a Little Tool Mule in March, you are automatically entered to win a week's stay in Estes Park, Colorado," said Matt Heffernan, founder and inventor. (The award is for housing, not transportation.)

For more information on National Ladder Safety Month, go to https://laddersafetymonth.com.