article on Occupational Heath & SafetyThis is a little Throwback Thursday to the very first article that Dave got published. The article was printed on Occupational Health & Safety’s website and was titled “Higher Calling.” You can find the entire article here.

Article Summary

In the article, Dave talks about the importance of taking time to use the ladder safely. He also discusses the value of having employees complete valuable safety training.

Dave goes on to discuss how to design safety into the design of the ladder. He talks about how using fiberglass-resin-composite ladders can reduce back and shoulder injuries, since they are lighter than the traditional extension ladder.

Dave then talks about making sure to use the right ladder for the job. Making sure the ladder is the correct length and is used for its intended purpose are both crucial to using a ladder safely.

The third point Dave makes in the article is to make sure to not overreach when climbing the ladder. Sometimes, in an effort to save time, workers will reach instead of climbing down the ladder and moving it to the necessary location. An advancement to combat the issue of overreaching is creating retractable wide-stance outriggers that adjust to unleveled ground. These outriggers help the ladder stay stable, helping the man at the top to be safe.

Dave then discusses the importance of overcoming complacency. Ladders can be quite dangerous, and it is important to not become lackadaisical in enforcing safety.

In his closing remarks, Dave reminds readers of the reality of ladder injuries. He says:

Every day, more than 500 people go to the hospital because of a ladder-related accident; 25 of those people are permanently disabled, and one of them dies. A combination of better safety training and the introduction of ladders designed to be safer will literally prevent injuries and save lives.


The article was written and published a little over a year and a half ago, in October of 2012, but the things he talked about are still important. Safety designed into the ladder can help save lives. Using the right ladder for the job is crucial. Being careful to avoid overreaching can prevent painful and costly injuries. Continually enforcing these safety guidelines continues to be important as well.