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Reducing Lost Time Accidents at Work by Replacing Step Stools with Ladder Carts

This case study investigates how a grocer addressed the issue of average lost time accidents at work by replacing traditional step stools with ladder carts. The primary aim was to enhance safety and reduce accidents associated with step stool usage.

  1. Problem: Area grocers have been experiencing an above-average number of lost time accidents related to step stool usage. These accidents resulted in employee injuries and lost productivity. To mitigate these incidents, the company explored the implementation of ladder carts as a safer alternative.

The company conducted a thorough analysis of the accidents related to step stool usage over a one-year period. The analysis revealed common reasons for accidents:

  • Overreaching on step stools.
  • Slipping or tripping when stepping on or off stools.
  • Step stool instability.
  • Inadequate space for storage of step stools.
  1. Solutions:
    • Ladder Cart Implementation: The company decided to replace traditional step stools with ladder carts. These ladder carts were equipped with multiple steps, handrails, and locking mechanisms to ensure stability and safety.
    • Employees were provided with training on ladder cart usage. The training emphasized proper usage, safe access, and handling of materials while on the ladder cart.
    • To accommodate ladder carts, the workspace was reorganized. This ensured that ladder carts were stored conveniently near the areas of need, reducing the likelihood of employees using unsafe alternatives.
    • Supervisors and team leaders closely monitored ladder cart usage to ensure that employees were adhering to safety guidelines. Corrective actions were taken if unsafe practices were observed.
    • Reporting and Incident Analysis: Employees were encouraged to report incidents or near misses involving ladder carts. Each incident was thoroughly analyzed to identify the root causes and prevent similar occurrences.
  2. Results:
    After the replacement of step stools with ladder carts and the implementation of safety measures, they observed the following results over a one-year period:
  • A significant reduction in lost time accidents related to ladder cart usage.
  • Decreased workers’ compensation claims and associated costs.
  • Improved overall efficiency and productivity in areas where ladder carts were used.
  • A safer work environment with fewer opportunities for overreaching and slips/trips.
  1. Conclusion:
    By replacing step stools with ladder carts and implementing safety measures, area grocers addressed the issue of average lost time accidents related to step stool usage. The transition to ladder carts not only enhanced safety but also improved productivity and efficiency in the workplace. The success of this initiative underscores the importance of proactive safety measures and equipment upgrades to prevent workplace accidents.

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