What We Found: Ladder Safety & Top 10 2014 OSHA Violations

At the Safety & Numbers blog, we spend a lot of time writing about work safety, fall protection, industry news, small business safety policy, etc. etc. etc.  The truth is though, we typically gather our information from the same place you do… the worldwide web.  We just try to package it in digestable morsels and hit the high notes to keep you informed on the go.

So today I am happy to introduce a new blog post category for your enjoyment… ‘What We Found Today’ is intended to cut through the muck and get right down to the business of sharing information that is valuable to you. Without further ado, here is What We Found Today, October 30th, 2014, featuring ladder safety, OSHA News & ANSI guidelines.

New ALI Ladder Safety Website with Training & Interactive Quiz

Have you visited AmericanLadderInstitute.org lately?  The site has a new design and content, with updated links to OSHA documents, ANSI A14 documentation, an Online Store, and — of great interest to this blog — a Ladder Safety Training website complete with a Safety Quiz.  The Ladder Safety Training site provides training resources complete with Videos and interactive features such as posting the most recent Top Ladder Quiz scores.  And it’s free to register!

2014 Top 10 OSHA Violations finds 2 of the Top 3 in Construction

OSHA recently published the Top 10 OSHA violations in fiscal year 2014.  As expected, Fall Protection in Construction held it’s rein on the top position with 6,143 violations. The second highest violation category was Hazard Communication (which we touched on regarding the importance of hazard assessments earlier this month).  Scaffolding in Construction came in 3rd with 4,029 violations.

To review the complete Top 10 List for OSHA Violations, visit Safety.BLR.com

ANSI Ratings Explained… for Ladders

We’ve mentioned in previous posts that IAS’s Trucker ladders are rated ANSI Special Duty Type IAA.  That may mean a lot to you or that may mean very little, which is why we found this link explaining the ANSI rating system for ladders of particular value.  Of course, IAS’s trucking work platforms are also ANSI rated for 3 man / 3,000 lbs.  We haven’t found a helpful link for that so you’ll just have to contact us so we can let our technical experts explain.

With that we will leave you to enjoy the Halloween holiday and stay OSHA safe at work.

Know the Standards: OSHA Fall Protection Compliance

Most informed industry professionals are aware that OSHA has emphasized the importance of awareness and compliance to fall protection safety standards that are designed to reduce injury risk and fatalities from falls from heights.  What may be less clear to business owners in both construction and general industry is OSHA’s dedication to proactively prosecute violations to the letter of the law.  Several recent examples of OSHA’s commitment to fall protection injury prevention have shed light on risk areas for small business owners to be aware of.

OSHA Fall Protection Policy Enforcement

In February this year, OSHA drafted and delivered a warning to the communication tower industry of the increasing fatality rate in that industry, it’s relationship to fall protection, and how strictly OSHA will be enforcing fall protection standards as a result.  Another example of OSHA’s firmness on fall protection is in their willingness to prosecute compliance gaps even when a business has taken significant precautions to protect employees.  OSHA attempted to prosecute Ryder Transportation Services for an injury to a subcontractor at their site for a fall fatality through a roof skylight that was safely inaccessible to employees.

OSHA Fall Protection Standards

The most important point for concerned business owners in light of OSHA’s increased emphasis on fall protection compliance is their strictness and strategy for standard enforcement.  OSHA may potentially cite your business not only for injuries resulting from a failure to provide fall protection, but also in cases where the business did not conduct an appropriate hazard assessment, even at seemingly low-risk heights of 4′. This result is effectively a double whammy effect for a single employee fall incident.

As a result, while it’s important to provide proper fall protection, it’s even more critical to conduct and document the proper precautionary procedures for any potential risk area, to save money and administrative battles in the case that a fall injury does occur.  Here’s a brief summary of OSHA’s fall protection standards policy, with this in mind.  Of course, anyone subject to OSHA violations should fully research the topic on their own with OSHA or a certified compliance consultant.

Construction Industry Fall Protection Compliance

Found in Section 1926.501, these can generally be summed up to require businesses to provide fall protection (guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems) on walking or working surfaces with an ‘unprotected side or edge which is six feet or more above the lower‘.

General Industry Fall Protection Compliance

General industry standards are also stringent, with Section 1910.23 stated to include ‘every wall opening from which there is a drop of more than four feet‘, with that also applying to open-side floor or platforms.  This requirement stipulates that risk areas be guarded by a standard railing or other means of fall protection.

And remember, the typical fall protection standards citations could be coupled with a citation for Section 1910.132 for failing to conduct a hazard assessment.

Fall Protect Your Business for Compliance

The application of these OSHA standards and enforcement policy strategies can thus be applied to a variety of settings, ranging from loading docks and flatbed truck beds to onsite or offsite machinery and equipment.  Business owner/operators should be aware that even for fall hazards of 4′ or less, a hazard assessment must be conducted and fall protection compliance equipment provided.

Trucker® & IAS Custom Access Fall Protection Products

Of course, we at Innovative Access Solutions are well-prepared to help with your flatbed truck and loading dock fall protection, starting with safety engineered Trucker trailer access ladders and working platforms.  In addition, IAS has a great deal of experience providing custom fall protection access equipment to machinery/equipment and multi-level walking or working surfaces at manufacturing facilities, dockyards, construction and mining sites, and public/retail settings.

To learn how IAS can design a fall protection access solution for your business, call our engineering team at (800) 388-6884 or submit our Contact form on IAScustom.com.

Fortune 500 Contractor Provides Testimonial for Trucker®

IAS produces access ladders for a wide variety of customers across the country. IAS products are safe, durable and convenient for applications ranging from contractor work safety to boat boarding at the lake. This versatility has earned raves from safety minded contractors and mobility challenged individuals alike.

Here are two examples of testimonials for work safety and optimal accessibility.

Fortune 500 Trucker Ladder Testimonial

The Trucker Series Trailer AccessTrucker® ladders are designed for simple and safe access to any truck trailer.  This safety manager at a Fortune 500 construction contractor and long time IAS customer has great things to say about Trucker® trailer access ladders.

I have utilized your products on jobs I have worked on for the past 4 years, once we started using your Trucker and Drop Deck ladders we realized the great benefits and quality the IAS products provided.  Since using your products our yard bosses and operators have asked for them by name.

Any time I show up on a new job, your ladders are one of my first purchases.  Our truck loading and unloading procedures now call for your ladders specifically, they are in such high demand they have to be assigned to crews and locked in the storage box at the end of each shift.  I couldn’t ask for a better product as far as safety, quality and ease of use.  

Thanks for a great product,

Patrick from Georgia 

Very Impressed Tooner Ladder Customer

Tooner Pontoon Boat LaddersThe Tooner I Ladder is designed for safe and convenient access to pontoon boats.  This customer was especially grateful for the accessibility and safety of the stairway ladder design with a rope available to assist with ascending up and out of the water.

I hope that you had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. Just so you know, we are very impressed with the ladder and it’s quality. I had a skydiving accident 5 years ago, and injured my spinal cord. I have limited mobility, and this ladder now allows me to go into the water and enjoy the lake with everyone else. Seems like a small thing, but it’s HUGE to me.
Again, Thank you
Craig from Florida

Comparing Flatbed Access Platforms for Fall Protection

Safety & Numbers blog sponsor Innovative Access Solutions, LLC produces portable flatbed truck access platforms for fall protection safety. The IAS platform is a new and innovative approach compared to other available flatbed fall protection options. With this in mind we are happy to help promote and review the advantages of a lightweight, portable platform as compared to bulky traditional wheeled systems.
Flatbed Access Platform Mounted to Truck Trailer

Advantages of a Portable Flatbed Access Platform

As mentioned above, the IAS flatbed access platform is an innovative approach to fall protection for loading/unloading, tarping, and maneuvering around flatbed trailers. The platform is composed of lightweight aluminum and equipped with CNC billet mounting hooks, making it ideal for fall protection at offsite locations, on stationary trailers, and where space is limited or time is of the essence.  The IAS flatbed access platform is ANSI rated to 3 man / 3,000 lbs making it versatile and durable.  IAS platforms also provide a safety rail that is easily removable for convenient stow away and mobility.  The IAS flatbed access platform is standard at lengths of 4′ and 8′ and can be customized to meet specialized requirements.

Compared to Traditional Flatbed Platform Systems

The majority of available flatbed access platform systems are wheeled or rolling platforms. These systems are ideal in certain applications. Truck fleets with high shipping volume, available space at their facility, and a sizable work force will appreciate the traditional wheeled flatbed access platform system. These systems typically provide space for a truck trailer to pull in between two parallel platforms which sandwich together on each side of the trailer deck. Traditional systems are generally expensive and less flexible.

Choosing the Best Fall Protection Option

When deciding on the best fall protection flatbed access platform for your company’s needs, we recommend considering available capital/workforce, the importance of mobility, and whether a bulky wheeled system will suit your needs.  The IAS flatbed access platform is mobile and portable, preventing the need to have a system consuming space at each site.  Being lightweight and modular, it is also easier to mount at any location and with fewer available workers. And the IAS flatbed access platform is ideal for specialized applications such as stationary flatbed trailers, contractor truck fleets, and industries including construction, mining and energy.

Choose the 4′ Work Platform with Safety Rail or 8′ Work Platform with Safety Rail

Whichever flatbed access platform you choose, always remember the importance of fall protection risk management even at limited heights. Investing in basic fall protection safety equipment such as a flatbed trailer work platform will ultimately save money and hardship in the long run when compared to workers comp claims, lost worker time, and indirect work injury costs.

Celebrating 15 Years of The Trucker® (…and Still Trucking!)

In 2014 Innovative Access Solutions (IAS®) is excited to celebrate 15 years of The Trucker® Series, made possible by a focus on safety and customer relationships. We would like to thank our loyal customer base for helping us achieve the goal of making The Trucker® an established and respected name in fall protection safety, and we invite you to contact the IAS® sales team to learn more.


The Trucker® Trailer Access

The Trucker® Series through the Years

September 1999
— The Trucker I 6900 flatbed trailer ladder introduced

2004: The original Cast Aluminum mounting hooks changed to CNC Billet Aluminum, an ‘unbreakable’ hook that added durability and improved safety to The Trucker I

2007: Roll Tarp Trucker was introduced, designed to provide access to Tarp Trailers

2007-2009: With the brand strengthened as a result of the ‘unbreakable’ mounting hooks and having developed several strong relationships with large established businesses, Trucker® began to take off.  Drop Deck Trucker was introduced and the four step ECO Trucker was developed and ANSI rated @ 375 lbs.

2010: The 4 Step Trucker ladder was created for access to crane trucks and taller trailers

2011: As The Trucker® grew, Storage and Mounting Options were developed

  • Ladder Storage Racks were developed in Upright and Shelf variations
  • The Utility Trucker was introduced as a mounted ladder option that pivots up 180⁰
  • A Steel Mounting Bracket was developed for mounting ladders without pockets

2011-2012: Mobile Flatbed Work Platforms with Safety Rails were engineered as a custom product request and became a standard product in use at several Construction, Transportation, and Manufacturing companies

  • October 2011: The 4’ Platform designed and ANSI rated at 3-Man (3000 lb.)
  • August 2012: 8’ Work Platform designed and ANSI rated at 3-Man (3000 lb.)

2013: All Trucker Series ladders were ANSI rated at 375 lbs. Type IAA Special Duty, the highest available Extra Heavy Duty rating for specialty ladders

2014: This year The Trucker® Series was granted an official trademark, new products are in development, and we are looking forward to 15 more years and beyond!

Today The Trucker® Series of ladders, storage racks and work platforms is capable of equipping most any truck fleet or stationary truck with fall protection equipment that is convenient, versatile and durable. This growth is in large part a result of relationships with customers that were willing to share their workplace access safety goals.

Celebrate with the 15 Years of Trucker® Promotion

Part of the power of customer relationships comes from a willingness to share the wealth and spread the word.  With that in mind, we are offering a 15% Discount off a single Trucker® Ladder or Storage Rack.  Simply apply the following Coupon Code prior to September 30, 2014 to join our celebration and save.

Apply COUPON CODE: 15YEARS at The Trucker® Online Store

OSHA National Safety Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

OSHA has produced a number of resources in support of the national Fall Prevention Campaign since its inception in 2012.  Perhaps the best opportunity for businesses to show support for this important OSHA initiative will arrive in June 2014 via the National Safety Stand Down for Fall Protection.  OSHA is encouraging construction professionals nationwide to halt work activity during the week of June 2nd  for the purpose of dedicating time to educate workers about the importance fall protection safety.

Preventing Falls in Construction - National Safety Stand Down

OSHA Fall Prevention Safety Stand Down

Employers, contractors, trade associations, government affiliates, unions, and professional societies are all encouraged to participate in the nationwide Fall Prevention Safety Stand Down event.  OSHA is even providing a Certificate of Participation for employers that provide feedback to OSHA about their participation by July 15th.

Topics of discussion during your stand down event may include safety topics such as ladder safety, fall protection equipment, or scaffolds safety.  Participants are invited to discuss work hazard identification and risk management, fall prevention best practices, and company safety policies.  Stand Down for Safety will provide the opportunity to directly discuss a preventable and prevalent cause of death or injury in construction.

National Safety Stand Down Resources

In addition to the opportunity for businesses and organizations to take part in the National Safety Stand Down, OSHA will be sponsoring events nationwide and has provided free education and training resources in support of the cause.

IAS will be participating in the OSHA Fall Prevention Safety Stand Down 2014 and hope you are also excited to take part.  We encourage you to share your Stand Down stories with us and invite you to call our office at (800) 388-6884 for the opportunity to collaborate, motivate and celebrate our mutual interest in preventing falls.