Information on the ergonomic use of ladders and how to prevent back injury
“Are you on a roll or is life a drag?” “and always look on the light side of life!”
Transporting ladders in a very ergonomic and back-friendly way
Why are ergonomics becoming ever more important at the workplace today?
The reasons for this are the wish of every individual to remain healthy and also in the illness statistics of insurance companies that show that muscle and skeletal problems are at the top of causes of health-related absences. Every fourth absence due to illness is caused by this.
And: absences due to back problems are relatively long compared to other complaints. The cost of these injuries to the economy is around 26 million Euro.
The aim here is to avoid illnesses and to reduce the duration and costs of illnesses. For the health of individuals and the well-being of society.
There is a great potential in this regard in improving work processes and conditions to make them more ergonomic and protect against back injuries. It is often small details that result in major improvements. These details are often found in and on working equipment, such as ladders that can be adjusted to better suit human capabilities. Only somebody who feels permanently at ease can make full use of his capacities and remain healthy.
Strenuous carrying of heavy ladders versus pulling in a manner that saves energy and protects the back.
Such details can be a roll-bar beam on rung ladders and make working with the load of the ladder easier. The roll-bar beam enables the user to roll the ladder to its next deployment site. Compared to carrying the ladder, the force required fol rolling is around half of that required to carry the weight. This protects the back and is beneficial to a person's health. A particularly positive aspect is that the ladders can be rolled while extended, the climbing aid does not have to be folded for transport. The rotary function allows the castors on the beam to be positioned exactly as desired in a user-friendly manner without tools.
The roll-bar beam fulfils the requirements of the Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV) (German Social Accident Insurance): In its manual for handling ladders and steps (BGI 694), the DGUV explicitly advises using transport rollers for heavy and bulky ladders and steps.
The ergonomic advantages and reduction of power required are enormous, as the following example illustrates: In the case of a large three-part aluminium multi-purpose ladder with 3x14 rungs, the user must carry a weight of 37 kilos. With the roll-bar beam, the user only needs to expend a force of approx. 0.18 kN. This corresponds to carrying a weight of approx. 19 kilos i.e. roughly half the weight of the ladder.
The roll-bar beam not only eases transport, it also ensures the ladder is standing securely during work. Depending on the ladder, the beam is either 0.85 m or 1.10 m wide and guarantees lateral stability up to the ladder's maximum extension length. The flexible nivello® ladder feet are jointed to compensate for uneven flooring and thus raise levels of work safety by ensuring the ladder is completely secure.
The ergo-pad® grip zone is another example of a small detail with great ergonomic benefit. It makes carrying step ladders as convenient and as back-friendly as never before. The ergonomic grip zone is attached to step ladders in such a manner that the user always holds the ladder at its centre of gravity, i.e. at the optimum carrying point.
Disadvantageous carrying of step ladders versus holding and carrying ergo-pad® stepladders in a back-friendly manner.
This not only optimises stability, but also carrying comfort. The ergonomic shape of the ergo-pad® means it fits perfectly in the user's hand – regardless of whether they are left- or right-handed. Due to the high temperature resistance of the plastic, the grip zone is pleasant to the touch even on very hot days or in winter when the temperature drops below freezing.
Another plus point of this development is the integrated clamping mechanism, that holds the struts of the ladder securely and tightly together during transport.
KAISER+KRAFT provides ladders and steps with ergonomic advantages and wants to promote back-friendly, ergonomic working and offer suitable benefits with regard to improving and easing work and also contribute actively to health protection.
Fast, back-friendly transport for rung ladders with the roll-bar beam.
ergo-pad® grip zone
The grip zone for ergonomic and comfortable carrying. With strut securing. For easy and convenient step ladder handing.
Ergonomic guidelines for work
What's wrong and what's right?
Ergonomic guidelines for work – short, precise, clear!
Avoid damaging motions or positions.
Carry ladders at the right point to protect your back.
Roll it, don't drag it. Use transport rollers for heavy, bulky ladders.
Avoid loads that could cause injury.
Work in an upright body position.
Work close to your body.
Work with no strain on your joints.
Change loads around.
Reprinting (including excerpts) only permissible with approval from GÜNZBURGER STEIGTECHNIK GMBH
Source and picture credits: GÜNZBURGER STEIGTECHNIK GMBH