Why Implement a Ladder-Less Jobsite?
Did you know the construction industry has seen increasing job fatalities since 2011? The leading factor attributing to these worker deaths are falls and being struck by objects falling from height. Look at any general contractor, equipment rental company, or equipment manufacturer’s website and you'll see safety highlighted on nearly every page. Construction companies take pride in safety cultures and demonstrating a safe history, but what are they doing to combat rising injury numbers? Project superintendents are rethinking how their workers complete tasks at height by implementing ladders last policies across the country. Keep reading to learn how a ladders last policy could benefit you and your workers for years to come.
The Willis Tower in Chicago, IL.
The Willis Tower
Let's take a closer look at Chicago, IL, one of the most complex vertical construction climates in the world. Contractors are completing projects ahead of schedule and under budget with the help of innovative construction equipment technology. One such project is the $670 million renovation to the Willis Tower. Formerly known as the Sear's Tower, this iconic skyscraper is getting quite the facelift. With contractors working around the clock receiving materials at the busiest bay in the city to managing workers across several stories, you'd think injuries would be a regular occurrence.
A Ladders Last Policy
The colossal five-year Willis Tower renovation project is managed by Turner Construction, a firm ladders last policy believer. Turner previously calculated that nearly 75% of their workplace incidents involved a ladder. Workers were getting hurt climbing, carrying, and moving ladders throughout jobsites. The construction firm adopted a ladders last policy to eliminate ladder set up times, reduce task completion times, simplify material handling, and make jobsites safer for workers. Not only has this policy reduced the amount of fall-related incidents, but subcontractors are also proving to be more efficient.
What are they using to replace ladders and scaffolding? Scissor lifts.
A Safer Alternative to Ladders
Ladder manufacturers responded to increasing safety concerns by adding features like cages, podium steps, and outriggers, but at the end of the day, ladders are still a safety hazard when relied on to complete elevated work for extended periods of time.
Meet the Hy-Brid Lifts Push-Around Series scissor lifts, designed specifically for ladders last jobsites. The PA-1030 gives contractors a larger work platform while reducing operator fatigue from climbing up and down ladder rungs. Not only do scissor lifts provide operators with more space for tools and materials, but they enable confidence at height versus trying to retain three points of contact on a ladder while working.
Navigating through a skyscraper like the Willis Tower is a puzzle in itself. Now try moving between all 110 floors with a 12 ft podium ladder, which is roughly 80 in long. If contractors miss a freight elevator, it can cost them up to 30 minutes in lost time waiting for the next elevator at peak hours. The PA-1030 has a total footprint of 51 in by 30 in, allowing the lift to easily fit inside standard personnel elevators and navigate tight spaces. Now that's serious maneuverability.