The New SumoStance’s intuitive safety features help ensure a safe, stable set-up for any job on almost any surface. It is perfect for homeowners, trade professionals, contractors, and anyone who needs to use an extension ladder safely.
We haven’t done a lot of products features on this site since the main focus is ladder safety and ladder safety training. In reality, an important part of ladder safety is having the right equipment. Today I’m going to talk about a ladder that had its debut last month at NSC. The ladder is the SafeFrame from Little Giant Ladder Systems.
The SafeFrame has an innovative design that helps combat known ladder safety issues.
No Top Rung
One of the most common ladder safety issues is people standing on the top cap and top rung. Since the top rung serves no structural purpose, the top rung on the SafeFrame was engineered out. Instead, the engineers made the last standing rung wider to make it more comfortable. They also added comfort grooves into the top cap to add stability around the knees.
Another common safety issue is not knowing where the last rung is. The SafeFrame has the Ground Cue, an audible signal when the operator has gone to the last step. You can also get the SafeFrame with Ratchet Levelers to help with unlevel ground.
Overall, the SafeFrame is the next step in ladder technology. This ladder addresses common safety concerns and provides a great solution to them. Here’s a video to show you more about this ladder.
The No Step is a simple invention from a safety professional. It was not created by a specific company. Instead, a safety professional saw a problem and came up with a solution, but it seems like it’s not quite the best solution to the problem.
The No Step in Review
As you can see, the No Step is a simple, plastic product you zip tie to the top cap. In an ideal world, this plastic piece would be both a reminder and a deterrent from standing on the top rung. All ladders have the “Don’t Climb” sticker, but the idea is to actually have the No Step be another reminder to be safe at the top of the ladder.
Will the No Step Work?
The main issue with the product is just that it can be easily moved if the operator chooses to climb to the top of the ladder anyway. He or she could simply slide feet under the plastic piece, ultimately defeating the No Step’s purpose.
A Better Solution
I would like to commend the safety officer for trying to find a solution to this incredibly common problem. However, I think there are better solutions out there. For example, what about a ladder that takes off the top rung completely? The top rung is not structurally necessary, so taking it off could actually help the ladder be safer. Instead of just adding a small barrier, eliminating the risk prevents a much better (and safer!) option.
For those of you who haven’t heard, NIOSH came out with an app to help improve ladder safety. The app was released last year and has been incredibly popular (close to 19,000 downloads). The Ladder Safety app is even a finalist for an innovation award. So, what makes this app so great? Let me tell you.
Using the NIOSH Ladder App
The NIOSH app is great for any smartphone owner who uses a ladder. With easy-to-use tools, the app helps users know when the single or extension ladder is leaning at the right angle. I love using this app to make sure the ladder is safe and ready to be climbed. One of the more common reasons ladders fail is because the user sets them up at the wrong angle. This app helps eliminate that risk. The user can set up the ladder, and then test the angle right there, checking to make sure the ladder angle is what it should be.
Why I Love the App
The app is unlike any other ladder apps, since it addresses the issue of ladder safety head-on with a solution. Not everyone can tell what angle a ladder is leaning just by looking at it, for example, but this app can help you know before climbing. I also love the other resources included in the download. There are safety guides and tools to help you inspect your ladder. A number of groups, including the American Ladder Institute and the ANSI A14 committee on Ladder Safety were involved in the development process, helping the app to become the best of the best.
This app helps people be safer on their ladders. In all my presentations, I talk about the app and encourage the attendees to download it to their phones. If the app would be helpful to you, you can download it here.
The December/January issue of Contractor Supply features 6 companies that are committed to providing safe, innovative climbing solutions:
“Perhaps because ladders are so easy to use, they are also easy to abuse, which causes injuries. Growing awareness of ladder and lift injury rates is driving tighter safety regulation and as a result, some truly ingenious new product designs. Climb on and read up.”