When using a ladder, safety must always be a user's first concern. Yet each year in the United States, nearly 300 people die from ladder-related incidents, and more than 175,000 people are injured. With the hope of reducing these numbers, Louisville Ladder Group LLC, Louisville, Ky., developed C.L.I.M.B. ACADEMY, a national initiative promoting ladder safety.

The C.L.I.M.B. ACADEMY is a comprehensive ladder safety-training program that focuses on educating people about the potential hazards involved in ladder usage and how to choose, inspect, set up, climb, and store ladders. It consists of detailed educational materials incorporating information about proper ladder safety techniques, helping to satisfy OSHA workplace safety program requirements.

"The goal of the C.L.I.M.B. ACADEMY program is to reduce injuries and deaths," says Mike Van Bree, product safety engineer, Louisville Ladder Group. "Proper ladder usage can also improve productivity by reducing lost man hours, minimizing insurance costs, and cutting down on worker's compensation claims."

At the heart of this program is a safety videotape, in which the Louisville Ladder Group uses landmark settings.

A handbook accompanies the video, providing comprehensive instruction on how to inspect a ladder before you use it. It includes charts to determine height, angles, and overlap to aid with ladder selection, reinforcing key messages presented in the video.

The handbook also covers how to transport climbing equipment, the importance of proper ladder setup, tips on climbing safety, and reviews proper care, cleaning, and storing ladders. While providing answers to commonly asked questions, it includes a self-test at the end of each segment.

Your own in-house safety director can administer the program, or a Louisville Ladder Group representative can personalize a training session for you.

For more information, visit www.louisvilleladdergroup.com or call (800)666-2811.

Sidebar:

Using the acronym C.L.I.M.B., this training program addresses the following ladder safety basics:

Choose it right; always select the right climbing equipment for the job.

Look closely; inspect the ladder for damage or missing parts.

Insure a safe, stable ladder setup.

Move slowly and carefully; always have three points of contact on the ladder.

Become an expert on ladder safety, not a statistic.