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Ladders & Industrial Equipment                            


According to CDC “43% of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder. Among workers, approximately 20% of fall injuries involve ladders. Among construction workers, an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) involve a ladder. In 2011, work-related ladder fall injuries resulted in 113 fatalities, an estimated 15,460 nonfatal injuries reported by employers that involved more than one day away from work, and an estimated 34,000 nonfatal injuries treated in ERs.

When it comes to non-power and power tools the number of accidents per year is estimated by 400,000. Hand and finger injuries are the most common caused by nailers, chain-saws, table saws, drills etc. Other common industrial accident are forklift tipping, body part are caught in conveyors and rotating machinery, and more.

​ Major causes

  • Extension Ladders

    • Ladder slip out

    • Transitioning onto or from a ladder

    • Failure of ladder structure

    • Overreaching

  • Step Ladders

    • Ladder instability

    • Standing on top rung or cap

    • Overreaching

    • Failure of ladder structure

  • Forklifts instability and lack of safety devices

  • Machine guards

  • Machine tools, automation equipment, robotics

  • Electric and pneumatic power tools

Services FEI provides

  • ​Conduct structural testing on ladders

  • Determine the cause of ladder accident

  • Test the slip out conditions of straight /extension ladders

  • Examine whether machine guards were functioning correctly

  • Determine if warning labels were adequate

  • Determine if the tool was used properly


FEI case examples

​Extension ladder failure

An experience worker was climbing on a fiberglass extension ladder when suddenly it broke and he fell from height of 12 feet and injured himself. The ladder was mounted correctly and another worker was holding it at the base to prevent slippage. Our investigation revealed manufacturing defects in the ladder rails. As the fiber are pulled, resin is being impregnated before forming the shape of the rail’s cross section and obviously before curing.  If the resin does not “wet” all the fiber a pocket of “free” fiber is created. This part of the rail cannot support compression load (fibers by themselves can support only tension load) and as a result the strength of the rail is substantially reduced. Cross section of the rail which has this defect was presented and the case was settled.

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