When it comes to measuring safety, Turner’s goal is set to zero – zero incidents, zero injuries – so that each of our workers can return home from our job sites injury-free, everyday. Project sites are inherently dangerous areas, so to ensure that safety is at the top of mind throughout our operations, our safety program called Building L.I.F.E. (Living Injury Free Everyday) is heavily focused on preventative measures.

In 2010, Turner’s safety leaders throughout the country took a closer look into the number of injuries related to the use of ladders. In Ohio, we had been averaging five ladder incidents per year. A curious thought was posed: “How do we work without ladders?” And if you think it would be challenging to tell people in construction they had to get rid of ladders, you are right. But that didn’t stop us.

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A year later we implemented a “Ladders Last” policy, allowing ladder use on job sites only when all other options to complete a task are not feasible. The policy requires pre-task planning and making site-specific safety plans of how to complete our work without a ladder, if feasible.

Yes, we knew we would be moving the industry and in turn, receive some pushback. Anytime a new policy is implemented, there are growing pains. But now we see the “Ladders Last” policy is reducing injuries and helping our productivity.

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Since 2012, the policy has not only reduced fall hazards and the injuries that come with them; it has also reduced task time and eliminated some material handling issues. The reality is that the alternatives to ladders – scaffolding, scissor lifts, platform ladders, and personnel hoists – are not only safer, but actually boost productivity because they allow for tools and materials to be in close proximity.

With our internal studies now showing zero ladder related incidents and injuries, we’re also seeing increased productivity since its adoption. Since the “Ladders Last” policy has proven to provide a safer environment for our workers, it will remain a key element in our safety program as we continue to strive for zero incidents of every type.

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