A federal work safety inspector has recommended that officials at Winfield’s Newell Rubbermaid plant make voluntary efforts to better train workers who use mobile ladders and mobile ladder platforms.
On April 7, a fall from a manually propelled mobile ladder stand sent Steve Wiggs, 47, to the hospital with critical injuries.
He later died because of those injuries. The Wichita office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed an inspection of the Rubbermaid plant on April 26. In a letter dated June 21, OSHA area director Judy A. Freeman advised the company that a lack of training with mobile ladders was creating a fall hazard at the plant.
Production operators had not been provided with correct ladder training in how to properly use the ladders.
Freeman said no OSHA standard applied to the hazard and thus the issue did not rise to a level that would warrant a citation, or fine, from the agency. She asked that Rubbermaid instead voluntarily make an effort to have employees comply with safety standards and follow manufacturer’s standards for the ladders.