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News January 24, 2019

Smart adjustment of ladders in construction machinery improves ergonomics

With relatively simple measures it is possible to improve ergonomics in heavy-duty construction machinery significantly. Electric actuators mounted on the ladder have been shown to be very effective – not just to make entry and exit of the vehicle safer.

Smart adjustment of ladders in construction machinery improves ergonomics

Modern construction faces a challenge. The average risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) is higher for people in this line of work than it is for people in all other industries combined. However, improving ergonomics can help overcome this challenge. For this purpose, LINAK actuators ensure a smooth cab ingress and egress when installed in powered retractable access systems. 

Even though about 90 per cent of small US construction companies have a safety program, only a third of them have an ergonomics program. This, combined with an estimated annual wage and salary loss of $46 million in the US private construction sector, creates an incentive to invest in ergonomic solutions.

Safe and ergonomic cab entry/exit with adjustable ladders
Adjustable ladders – or other powered retractable access systems – ensure safe extension/retraction, bringing the ladder closer to the ground. For the machine operator, this provides a safer and more ergonomic way in and out of the cab with visible and angled steps. It will also spare the driver’s knees from strain as the first step is closer to the ground.

Smart adjustment of ladders in construction machinery improves ergonomics

By improving ergonomics, you are likely to reduce the amount of working days lost due to MSDs. In the UK alone, this represents 6.6 million working days a year and a total of 469,000 workers, all suffering from MSDs (new or long-standing). 

The system offers several benefits
For the entrepreneur, there are also other benefits of a powered retractable access system. Adjusting the ladder with actuators powered by battery means that dependence on the hydraulic system is gone, and the ladder system is operable when the main engine is not running. All you need is power from the battery and a remote control. 

Furthermore, the system can be used as additional theft/vandalism protection, as accessing higher cabs will be complicated without an extended ladder. According to ISO 2867:2011, the ladder must be activated and fully extended to allow access to the cab.

Ergonomics matters – also in construction! 

If you want to know more about what LINAK can do for construction vehicles, visit the construction business area site. You are also welcome to contact your local LINAK office for more information. 


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