Why Implement a Ladder-Less Jobsite?

Each year the construction industry has seen an uptick in job site fatalities since 2011. The leading factor attributing to these deaths are falls from height and struck by object. Look at any general contractor, equipment rental company, or equipment manufacturer’s website and you will see SAFETY highlighted throughout their website; and how the company demonstrates a history of safety and safety culture. What are we seeing in real time?

Willis Tower

Willis Tower, Chicago

Willis Tower, Chicago

Look at Chicago as an example - One of the most complex vertical construction climates in the world. It is fascinating how contractors complete their jobs ahead of schedule with the least amount of “effort” by utilizing innovative equipment technology.  

At this moment over 40 different subcontractors are working on completing a massive renovation project in the Willis Tower in downtown Chicago. It is amazing watching the project superintendents complete their day’s tasks which run 24 hours a day 7 days a week. From receiving materials at the busiest bay in the city, to managing the amount of time it takes workers to access the elevators, you would think injuries would be a regular occurrence.

 

A "Ladders Last" Policy

The colossal 5-year renovation project at the Willis Tower is managed by Turner Construction who have a “Ladders Last Policy.” Prior to beginning work, the subcontractor or superintendent evaluates all tasks that require individuals to work at elevated heights. It is the expectation that these tasks will be performed using methods other than using a ladder. Use of lifts and portable scaffold devices is the preferred method to perform this type of work.

With over 40 subcontractors working harmoniously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Turner’s Ladders Last policy is reducing the amount of fall related incidents. What we do not see in real time is how efficient the subs are performing their tasks without ladders.

Turner calculated nearly 75% of their workplace incidents involved a ladder. Workers were getting hurt climbing, carrying, and moving them throughout job sites. Using ladders last eliminates the time necessary to set up ladders, can reduce the time it takes to complete a task, and makes handling materials easier.

A Safe Alternative to Ladders

Introduce Hy-Brid Lift’s Push Around Series which were designed specifically for a ladders last job site. The PA-1030 gives the contractor a larger work platform for their tools and supplies vs trying to retain 3 points of contact on a ladder.    

Ladder manufacturers have responded to increasing safety concerns by adding features to their products like cages, podium steps and outriggers. At the end of the day, ladders are still an ongoing safety hazard when relied on to complete work at height on a consistent basis.

Navigating through a skyscraper like the Willis Tower is a puzzle in itself…. Now try moving from floor to floor with a 12ft podium ladder which is roughly 80in in length. There are 110 floors in the Willis Tower. If a contractor misses their freight elevator it can cost them up to 30 minutes in lost time waiting on the next elevator at peak hours. Hy-Brid Lift’s PA-1030 has a total footprint of 51 x 30 in, allowing it to easily fit inside standard elevators and navigate tight spaces with ease.  

Providing workers more efficient ladder less solutions such as Hy-Brid Lifts Push-Around and Pro Series models can greatly reduce operator fatigue when planning and executing their work at height. 

Hy-Brid Lifts PA-1030 working on a mezzanine 

Project Superintendents can rethink how their workers complete tasks by implementing a “Ladders Last” policy to provide safer work at height and increase productivity with the right information and Hy-Brid Lifts. 

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