Solution Summary: Ladder Safety Base System
A ladder safety base system is an engineering control that can provide ladder stability. The system comes with a base tray, also called a "saddle", with an inner grip strip which an extension ladder can be placed on. It is then secured by a nylon strap over the third rung of the ladder and back down the backside of the rungs. Each end of the strap has a latch hook that secures to the edge of the saddle.
A ladder safety base system, such as the Ladder Lockdown Industrial System, weighs 15 pounds and measures 32.5- by 8- by 1.5-inches. This saddle fits extension ladders up to 60 feet and most A-frames up to 12 feet. The bottom of the saddle contains two strips of proprietary non-slip grip rubber for use on hard flat surfaces. In addition, this system also includes removable staples, an accessory that attaches to the bottom of the saddle for use on soft outdoor surfaces, such as soft grass or dirt (figure 1). Per the manufacturer's claim, this system works on concrete, wood, sand, grass, and ice/snow surfaces. It meets or exceeds OSHA standards for safe laddering.
Figure 1. The bottom of the Ladder Lockdown base with the attached staples accessory.
Climbing extension ladders that are unstable can increase the chance of a fall leading to an injury or even death. Fractures are the most common injuries associated with falling from a ladder, followed by strains, sprains, and abrasions. A ladder safety base system can prevent kickout and reduce unwanted ladder movement by improving stability.
How Risks are Reduced:
Using a ladder safety base system (in conjunction with proper ladder techniques) can reduce the likelihood of falls because the base provides more surface ground contact and eliminates the requirement for the ladder to solely rely on the rubber feets of the extension ladder for grip and stability.
Per the manufacturer's claim, an independent study showed that the Ladder Lockdown Safety Saddle, when used in conjunction with proper ladder techniques, makes climbing a ladder 25 times safer. Please visit the manufacturer to request more information regarding this study.
Please visit our other solution, Proper Ladder Selection, for more safety information regarding general ladder safety. Ladder Lockdown also has their own User Manuals regarding the proper use of their industrial system. It is recommended users follow all manufacturer guidelines before using this equipment to ensure worker safety and compliance with applicable local, state or federal regulations.
Ladders should be inspected regularly by a competent person.
Superintendants, foremen and trades workers must be trained on the proper methods of ladder inspection, erection and use.
Jean Christophe Le, MPH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training
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