This analysis focuses on the material selection of Fiberglass and its application for standard commercial step ladders. Step ladders are an integral tool in both construction and the workplace. They are additionally dangerous to use. Having come from a family that was involved in commercial construction, I have firsthand experience with very large step ladders. Still, one may consider such research into ladders as mundane and near pointless.
Ladders cause over 164,000 trips to the emergency room and 300 deaths per year in the United States alone. Ladders are also the leading cause of death on construction sites (IACHI, 2014). Werner, the world leader in ladder production, reported over $472.3 in sales in 2005, with a large part in ladder production (MDM, 2006). Clearly, the design on ladders not only has a major impact on public safety, but there is a large profit to be had if the standard step ladder can be improved.
As a mechanical engineer, it is my responsibility to design products to satisfy a consumer's needs. While simple, a ladder fits this description perfectly. It is also my responsibility to design such products with the public's safety in mind; if I am able to make something that will reduce the risk of injury further while maintaining project constraints, I must. This research is intended to do that by analyzing the material selection of commercial ladders. The following research and works divulges the process in which I have shown fiberglass to be the optimal material for ladder construction.
Identify a model - The sides of the ladder and rungs act as beams
Identify a function - The ladder must be strong to support the weight of a user and durable to not break under many uses or env...
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MDNR. (2013). DNR and Silica Sand. Retrieved from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/silicasand/index.html
NIOSH. (1989, July). Preventing Electrocutions of Workers Using Portable Metal Ladders Near Overhead Power Lines. Retrieved from NIOSH Publications and Products: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/89-110/
OSHA. (1999, August). Preventing Muskuloskeletal Disorders in Construction Workers. Retrieved from Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health: http://www.elcosh.org/document/1648/d000560/Preventing%2BMuskuloskeletal%2BDisorders%2Bin%2BConstruction%2BWorkers.html?show_text=1
OSHA. (2006, August 23). Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR). Retrieved from Safety and Health Regulations for Construction - Ladders: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=10839
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