Solution Summary: Automatic Leveler and Stabilizer Extension Ladder
An automatic leveler and stabilizer extension ladder is engineered and designed to offer autonomous horizontal leveling as well as overall stability. The design includes outrigger legs creating a wider base than the ladder rails thereby extending the center of mass on both sides of a ladder. The outrigger legs also automatically adapt and adjust to uneven grounds or surfaces to aid in proper setup and lateral stability of an extension ladder.
An automatic leveler and stabilizer extension ladder, such as the Safety Ladder System reduces the risks of falls during usage.
The Safety Ladder System’s patented concept design automatically adjusts to uneven grounds and surfaces without the use of hands or feet, giving the user greater control during ladder setup. It is constructed of lightweight high-strength aluminum that is removable without requiring any tools for easier ladder storage and transport. The system's larger foot design has greater surface area that can adjust side-to-side as well as forward and aft.
(Photo courtesy of Bigfoot Ladder Systems, LLC)
Most current levelers are attached to the rails of an extension ladder and allow the length of the legs to be manually adjusted. Due to the current ANSI design standards, many of these levelers are limited to 8 or 9 inches. However, the Safety Ladder System's unique ANSI-compliant design provides ladder leveling and stabilizing up to 27 inches in variance for leveling adaptation to uneven ground which can offer more versatile use (i.e. staircases and stairwells). Per the manufacturer, this extension ladder only requires one person to set up as it automatically self-levels.
Climbing extension ladders on uneven ground 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.
How Risks are Reduced:
An automatic leveler and stabilizer extension ladder can reduce unwanted ladder movement by accommodating to uneven ground and improving ladder stability. Additionally, levelers eliminate instability caused by placing objects under the feet of ladders to correct for uneven ground. Per Bigfoot Ladder Systems LLC., the use of physics in the design of a ladder helps maximize stability and safety in order to prevent falls, injuries or death.
Research has shown that a ladder leveler is a current measure to control falls from ladders (Hsiao et al. 2008).
OSHA claims, “…if a ladder is not on a ‘level surface,’ it must be ‘secured to prevent accidental displacement.’ With respect to an adjustable leveler, in some instances, its use may be the equivalent of a ladder being placed on a level surface.”
Some ladder levelers can only be used with specific makes and/or models of extension ladders. While the Safety Ladder System by Bigfoot Ladder Systems LLC. is in the prototype stage, please contact the manufacturer for compatibility and additional specifications. All ladders should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Refer to "Preventing Falls from Ladders in Construction: A Guide to Training Site Supervisors" for more information. http://www.cpwr.com/pdfs/HSPH_PreventingFallsFromLadders.pdf
Jean Christophe Le, MPH - CPWR The Center for Construction Research and Training