Skanska, one of the world’s leading construction and development firms, will launch the “Ladders Last” campaign at its job sites today in an effort to educate its 11,000 US employees to make their job sites and homes safer by choosing alternate ways to work from height other than a ladder. The campaign is the cornerstone of Skanska’s 12th annual Safety Week, May 1-7.
A study published by the CDC shows that ladders are involved in more than 80 percent of construction worker fall injuries across the industry and that falls remain the top cause of fatal incidents in construction. By taking time to properly plan work each day, Skanska hopes that its workers will find ways to use scaffolds, aerial work platforms and other methods to work from height that offer better safety.
“When we look at root causes of incidents, it’s alarming how often ladders are involved despite alternatives being available to the crew,” said Skanska USA Chief Environmental, Health and Safety Officer Paul Haining. “It goes beyond the project site as well, with thousands of injuries taking place at home. If we can change the way people approach ladders both at work and at home, we can make a dramatic difference in safety.”
Central to Skanska’s Injury-Free Environment philosophy is creating a culture where all incidents are considered preventable and where everyone is empowered to speak up when they perceive unsafe conditions.
“The ‘Ladders Last’ program is really comprehensive, since it addresses work and home environments,” said Ross Vroman, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska’s Phoenix office. “If we truly want to eliminate injuries and incidents, it takes a mindset that commits to safe work wherever it takes place.”
This year, hundreds of Skanska’s project sites in the United States will address ladder use as part of daily Toolbox Talks each day of Safety Week. Additionally, they will participate in site-specific activities that range from training sessions and product demonstrations to workshops designed to increase comradery and communication among workers in the hope of empowering every individual to speak up for safety. Skanska’s office-based employees will also be able to participate in office-specific programs that focus on office wellness and home safety.
Skanska will also participate in the 3rd annual Construction Industry Safety Week, which it helped establish in 2014. This year, more than 50 partners from across the industry are participating.