How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Tool on Your Job Site

It’s a standard scene in any slapstick comedy: The lead character makes a shaky climb up an unsteady ladder. Just as he’s about to hit the top, he teeters, slips and falls, bumping every rung on his way down. He comes away with bumps and bruises — his ego taking the worst of it. 

If only that was the reality of a fall from a ladder. 

Every day, in the real world, nearly 2,000 people get injured using a ladder. Nearly half of deadly falls occur from a ladder, and roughly 64 percent of all fatal ladder falls occur at 15 feet or lower. 

The good news? This is a threat that can be avoided altogether, by taking advantage of the myriad of alternatives to the everyday ladder. 

But before we can dig into the solution, we need to understand the problem: What is it that makes the ladder, a staple of so many households, so dangerous? 

That, for one, is part of the problem: Ladders are seen as a “tool of the trade,” a mainstay of even the most basic collections of tools. No one gets any training on ladders because it’s just assumed everyone knows how to use one. 

But the reality is, most falls are caused by using faulty ladders, incorrectly positioning or using a ladder, or selecting the wrong type of ladder for your task. In each case, human error is largely to blame. 

The second part of the problem is our failure to understand just how taxing it is to stand and balance on a step for extended periods of time. Fatigue sets in, which is a major contributor to falls. 

And then, of course, there’s the fact that you’re multitasking when you’re scaling a ladder. You’re climbing, hanging on, steadying yourself and, more-than-likely, carrying something while you’re at it. 

There are multiple solutions in the marketplace that attempt to solve for those issues. At Sunbelt Rentals, as part of our commitment to safety across the job site, we offer several low-level access lifts from JLG. 
JLG’s Ecolift, for instance, comes in a range of working heights, from 10 feet to 14 feet. It features a stored-power lift/lower system for simple use; just push it into place and get to work. It’s also sturdy, with automatic locking wheels that let you work confidently — with both hands. In addition, this eco-friendly lift is free of batteries and hydraulic hoses – allowing you to work quietly and confidently in many high-profile occupied environments.  
JLG’s Liftpod offers working heights from 13 feet to 20 feet and a working radius of 360 degrees — with both hands. It can be assembled or disassembled in minutes and fits in the bed of a truck. 

Right about now, you may be wondering how you can justify the cost of a low-level access lift, compared to the old-fashioned ladder already sitting in your truck. Well, consider this: Every fall that occurs on your job site comes with a financial cost — in damages, workers compensation claims, and lost time and manpower. When you consider that, the cost conversation becomes more about how much you’ll save than how much you’ll spend. 

Here’s one more factor to consider: When you rent a quality JLG low-level access lift from Sunbelt Rentals, it comes with the support you need to make sure you get off — quite literally — on the right foot.  That’s our promise and just another part of our overarching commitment to supplying job sites around the world with the right products for the job at hand. 

Interested in trying out the Ecolift or the Liftpod? Give us a call at 1-800-667-9328 or learn more about all of your low level access options.

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