Redesigned third leg

Introduction Ladder injuries are among the most common injuries among orchard workers in Washington state. Ladders tipping over, sliding of the third leg, worker falling off the ladder, and worker missing the last rung were the most common sources of injuries. Due to the resistance in the industry to embrace all-new ladder designs, improvements to existing designs are the most promising advances in ladder technology. Technology description Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a sleeve made of steel tubing that slides over the ladder’s third leg. The sleeve is cut on one end to create a spade shape that digs into the ground, providing improved overall ladder stability. A pin holds the sleeve in place and allows stowage of the sleeve when it is not deployed. The system also includes a pushing step to allow the user to insert the leg into firm soil. Business opportunity The redesigned third leg attachment will create a more safe work environment for ladder users by improving the overall stability of the ladder when it is deployed. It addresses an un-met need in the market for improved safety in ladder construction, which has the potential to spare both employees and employers costs associated with work place injuries. Stage of development A working model of the safe last step device has been achieved and tested. Intellectual property position The UW is currently reviewing this technology for worldwide patent protection.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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